Culture in Quarantine

Art in Quarantine: The Best Virtual Museum Tours

These are hard days for everybody and that includes art fans. But lucky for them, the virtual museum tour offerings are very strong. Below is our guide to getting your art in quarantine. Check out our other suggestions for staying sane in these trying times here.

Virtual Museum Tours

The British Museum is (obvi) one of the handful of greatest collections in existence (however the collection was obtained). And the virtual tour they've constructed is very much up to the standards of the museum as a whole. Since the greatest highlights of the museum, however, are three dimensional objects rather than paintings, you lose a lot in the digital translation but the site is nonetheless amazing. The museum also has a large database of objects in their collection here.

For New Yorkers who are also fans of the amazing Assyrian lion hunt friezes, know that several similar friezes from the same site are at our own Brooklyn Museum. A treat for whenever we're let out of this quarantine.

The Vatican Museum is best known for the Sistine Chapel, of course. But it's far, far more than that. Raphael's School of Athens, which we've all seen millions of times, is there and, honestly, it's at best the second best Raphael there (the Expulsion of Heliodorus From The Temple is first). Caravaggio's Deposition is one of that master's best and full of pathos. And the most profound art experience of my life occurred when I first saw Laocoön and His Sons. And on and on. It's a magical place, even for non-Christians, and the virtual museum tour, is an excellent use of your art in quarantine budget.

The Musée d'Orsay is a monument to the greatness of Paris in the late 19th century and a stern rebuke to Hemmingway dorks who think his era was the greatest period in that city.

Manet's Olympia and former adornment of my dorm wall Luncheon on the Grass are there, as are a multitude of the greatest Cézannes, Monets,  Seurats, Bonnards, Corots & far far more of the greatest artworks you'll ever see on a virtual museum tour.

Berlin has not traditionally been high on the list of destinations for American tourists and the ones that have recently flocked there have mostly come to dance. That's a shame, since the cultural offerings of that great city are extraordinary. And the jewel of Berlin's museums is the Pergamon Museum.

Named after the immense altar excavated in modern Turkey and decorated with extraordinary high relief frieze depicting the Gigantomancy and while that is indeed amazing, by far my favorite exhibition there is the Ishtar Gate and other Babylonian artifacts (technically part of the Vorderasiatisches Museum); I'm a sucker for ancient Mesopotamia.

 

When people think of great art, they think of the Italian Renaissance. If they know a bit more, they seat that more specifically in Florence. And the greatest collection of painting from that time and place is Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi (though the presence of the sublime Venus of Urbino by Titian demonstrates that it's not solely a Florentine affair).  Both The Birth of Venus and La Primavera are there as are too many other extraordinary paintings to list. Ideal art for the quarantine.

You knew we'd get here. The Met is an encyclopedic education in the arts of virtually the entire world housed in a single building. It's one of the main reasons we will never move to San Francisco and the virtual tour of the museum is spectacular. Check it out.

They also have a large library of video lectures. Check those out here.

 

More ways to get your art in quarantine:

When this is all over, you'll want to get out. And asembl is the best way to find all the coolest gallery openings, art parties and more. Get the app by hitting the button below:

And don't forget to check the blog for lots more interesting stuff: asemblco.com/things-to-do-in-nyc