Do you miss strolling around the viewing rooms of art galleries, casually taking in some of the most admired paintings and sculptures in the world? So do we. A consolation is that some of the most beloved art galleries are offering the public a chance to peruse coveted exhibits from anywhere. From New York City’s The Guggenheim to Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, these virtual art gallery tours are a wonderful way to still enjoy art and culture when you’re stuck at home.
From virtual tours of the Louvre to the Van Gogh Museum, explore the world’s best art galleries from the comfort of your own home.
Photo: Chris Parmiter
Musée d’Orsay —Browse the largest collection of Impressionist and post‑Impressionist artworks from French artists including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Pierre‑Auguste Renoir. Explore the connection between historical artworks and how they inspired modern culture – such as Gustave Doré’s sculpture, Joyousness, which served as a muse for Hollywood movies – then indulge in French cinema and opera from the archives.
Photo: Reno Laithienne
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum —You might not get to experience The Guggenheim’s jaw‑dropping architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright in a virtual tour, but you can still take in its modern and contemporary online collection with over 1,700 artworks. Or sharpen your pencils and tune into a virtual art class: Sketch with Jeff, which runs every Saturday with artist and storyteller Jeff Hopkins.
Photo: Wikimedia commons
Google Arts & Culture —Equipped with over 2,000 international art exhibits, Google Arts & Culture is a great place to go gallery‑hopping. Step inside the London Royal Academy of Arts and learn how subjective colour is, visit Japan’s Nakamura Keith Haring Collection to explore pop art or browse the National Museums of Kenya to meet the country’s greatest heroes and hear their stories.
Photo: Wikimedia commons
Museo Nacional del Prado —Thanks in part to its Spanish Royal Collection, Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado is considered one of the world’s most impressive museums of European art. It is also one of the oldest, first opening its doors in 1819. Brush up on your art history as you click through the masterpieces, including Diego Velázquez’s enigmatic Las Meninas painting. Then browse one of the latest exhibitions, Uninvited Guests. Episodes on Women, Ideology and the Visual Arts in Spain, which explores structures of power and the role of women in visual arts during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Photo: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum —Explore Vincent Van Gogh’s collections and examine the contrast between his early drawings and his landscape and self‑portrait masterpieces. One of the coolest things about this museum is the library of letters Van Gogh sent to his brother and best friend, which reveal his life’s challenges and search for meaning.
Photo: Donna Lay
Art Gallery of Ontario —With a permanent collection of almost 95,000 artworks, the AGO includes diverse pieces from Indigenous, Canadian, African and European artists. Download a colouring card of your favourite works from the art gallery and colour it to replicate the original – or let your inner Emily Carr take the wheel. If art‑making videos are more your speed, try creating a 3‑D landscape or a DIY disco ball. The AGO is also offering a Multisensory Museum series discussion led by Ontario College of Art & Design University graduate students. The interactive experience encourages cultural consumers to immerse themselves in art through sound, taste and touch.
Photo: Tanya Pro
Louvre Museum —Experience the world’s largest art museum with a series of virtual guided tours, including a visit to the Apollo Gallery, the Egyptian Antiquities collection and the Medieval Louvre. You can easily spend all day here and discover the many resources available such as a French tutorial on the elements of art or Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Mona Lisa, covering the birth of the masterpiece. Fun fact: the Mona Lisa is the most visited, most written about, most sung about – and most parodied – work of art in the world.