This time of year when the temperature drops, museums are an inspiring way to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon. But if you’re not keen on venturing out, you don’t have to. During the pandemic, many museums around the world are sharing not only their masterpieces virtually but offering classes and an array of interactive art adventures for children and adults. So settle snuggly in the comfort of your couch, click off Netflix and binge on art instead.
Here’s where to get your art fix virtually.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
In recent years, Cleveland has upped its cool factor. Until you can get there yourself, do check out The Rock Hall’s newest exhibit, “It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment.” It showcases the musical and visual artists who created art as a response to unspeakable tragedy and to promote social justice. The collection includes Aretha Franklin’s Valentino dress worn during her first appearance at Radio City Music Hall, a jumpsuit worn by James Brown and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” lyrics. Director of Curatorial Affairs Nwaka Onwusa explained, “we want to show what the power of rock ‘n’ roll looks like in the face of segregation and racism. These artists have stood above all that and done it elegantly.” You can also experience the exhibit online with a virtual exhibit walk-through and an official Spotify playlist. https://www.rockhall.com/its-been-said-all-along
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
They do things big in Dallas and that includes art. This city is home to the largest contiguous urban arts district in America. It’s 68 acres and 19 blocks. The global collection is more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history of cultures around the world. You can see the entire collection online, and the museum developed a virtual website designed to give you the feel of being there browsing. Capitalize on 3D mapping and click your way through the museum. Some highlights include “MyIgration,” an installation of works that traces the migration of people, objects and ideas in art across times and cultures via audio and video clips. “Flores Mexicanas: Women in Modern Mexican Art,” offers not only a virtual tour of the works of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and others, but there’s an interactive timeline to scroll and see how Mexican art evolved, activity sheets and how-to videos for creating, drawing and coloring flowers seen throughout the exhibit. https://virtual.dma.org/
The Louvre Museum, Paris
It’s likely The Louvre is on your must-visit list. In the meantime, you can glimpse the legendary museum. Egyptian antiquities are a highlight. Explore the Pharaonic collections and exhibits like “The Advent of the Artist,” which takes a closer look at the transition from the typically anonymous craftsman of the classical period to the artist of the Renaissance, featuring works by Delacroix, Rembrandt, Tintoret and more. The museum also offers innovative exhibits like the “Mona Lisa Beyond the Glass Virtual Reality Experience,” which brings to life the story of Mona Lisa, Da Vinci’s signature masterpiece.
The Virtual Museum–Underwater Malta, Malta
You won’t find anything like this in the Mediterranean. You can make like a deep-sea diver and see panoramic underwater views of archaeological sites in Malta. Check out shipwrecks, plane crashes, submarines, Victorian Guns and more. The museum uses 3-D models, VR video and photography. Stimulate your imagination exploring these historic time capsules. https://underwatermalta.org/
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
Enjoy some 30,000 works of art, especially the glass collections. In addition to a full virtual tour of the museum. There are extras like the “Curator in Your Computer” series, where you can join expert curators for in-depth looks at the various collections and get schooled on topics like archaeology, contemporary African art, and the technical history of photography. Search the Glass Studio’s performance archive and watch the artists do their thing. Click on Chrysler From Home for a myriad of projects to keep your household busy. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/chrysler-museum-of-art
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands. It tells the story of 800 years of Dutch history, from 1200 to today. You’re in for a treat. Experience the “Nightwatch,” the 1642 masterpiece created by Rembrandt van Rijn. This interactive tour will give you a front row seat of sorts to the secrets and stories in the “Nightwatch.” Step across the red cord, take captain Frans Banninck Cocq’s hand, zoom in and let yourself be carried away into the world of the “Nightwatch.” Dozens of stories will shed light on what makes the “Nightwatch” such a unique painting. There are lots of questions to ponder. Who are those militia men? Where is Rembrandt hiding? Who is the girl? Make up your own mind. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/from-home
U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, North Carolina
The museum celebrates over 80 years of Army Airborne and Special Operations history and honors the nation’s soldiers––past, present and future. The museum artfully uses immersive exhibits and innovative educational programs. https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=rURHkDrXo6w
Chicago History Museum, Chicago
There are thousands of tales in a storied town like Chicago. Via the museum’s website you’ll learn much about the city’s culinary history, the Blues, the life of civil rights activist Rev. Joseph Harrison Jackson, the history of the Chicago streetcar, and more. https://www.chicagohistory.org/exhibitions/#online