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5 Amazing Virtual Museum Tours You Can Take During the Shutdown

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The internet is now getting flooded with lists of everything you can do during the shutdown. It’s almost like every second person has become a curator of movies, series, books and Online Learning Platforms. While it is definitely a great experience to go through a new story, if that is all you do, you will miss out on a much more enriching experience – the one of visiting a museum.

Now, it may seem impossible to visit a museum during the lockdown. But as the world steps into newer territories, people and organizations are coming up with novel ideas to bring everyone together. That is why several museums across the world have opened their ‘virtual’ doors for you and your family. These virtual tours are provided using immersive 360-degree images and VR tools. For most of the virtual tours, your smartphone and an active internet connection would be all you need.

The most immersive and engaging experiences of our lives are when we get to have fun and learn something. Taking a virtual tour of a museum is exactly that kind of an experience. To make the experience more enriching, you can take these tours with your family. Why let people sit in corners, streaming the next series they are recommended! Grab a bowl of popcorn and get started with exploring the world, right from your drawing room:

Virtual Museum Tours You Can Take During the Shutdown

1. British Museum

The British Museum, founded as the world’s first public museum, definitely stands tall for its collection of over eight million artifacts. What truly sets the museum apart is the diversity in its collection. The museum calls its central mission to trace the development of human arts and culture with pieces of art as old as two million years.

The British Museum is located in Bloomsbury, London. Surprisingly, the entire museum was founded on the collections of an Irish collector Sir Hans Sloane. Founded in 1753, it took the museum over six years to open its doors to the public.

The museum’s modern day building was built in the 1850s and has gone through rounds of restorations and expansions. The most recent expansion added The Queen Elizabeth II Great Hall, which is the largest publicly roofed area in Europe.

You can access the museum’s collection using Google Street View, virtual galleries, museum’s very own podcast & audio tours as well as the museum’s blog. The museum’s collections span over categories like Americas, Asia and Africa as well as abstract concepts like Death & Memory and Desire, Love & Identity.

2. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

The National Gallery of Art is considered to be the institution with one of the most revered collections of art in the entire Western Hemisphere. It is one of the very first free for everyone, public art museums in the entire USA. The museum was initially founded and funded by a banker, philanthropist and collector Andrew Mellon. In 1937, the American government decided to make it an institution of national significance and opened it to all Americans.

The museum houses over 150,000 pieces of art. These include paintings, sculptures and contemporary artefacts. The museum does not categorize each artefact into a specific theme; but it traces all the major developments in Western Art.

You can access the museum’s collections using Google Street View. Don’t miss out on the Sainsbury Wing and the tour of the 18 rooms, which collectively house over 500 paintings.

3. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Unlike most of its contemporaries, Van Gogh Museum focuses on the work of one particular artist, his disciples and contemporaries. Most museums in the world are centered around specific themes which were followed by several artists. But the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam specifically focuses on the works of and related to Vincent Van Gogh and his signature style of painting.

The museum is also contemporary by its very design. It opened in the early 1970s and was designed as a collaboration between a Dutch furniture designer and a Japanese architect. Van Gogh museum will definitely give you a great tour of Vincent Van Gogh’s unsold works as well as bring out a cohesively told story of the artist. Many of the pieces of art installed here have been given to the museum by the family members and descendants of Van Gogh himself.

You can access the museum’s virtual tour using Google Arts & Culture.

4. National Museum, New Delhi

The National Museum is one of the oldest and most iconic museums in India. Opened a couple of years after India’s independence, the museum has accumulated, restored and put to display a wide range of artifacts, paintings, sculptures and even textiles.

The National Museum works as one of the finest platforms, giving you a thorough understanding of arts and culture from the pre-historic ages, all the way to the present day India. You will easily find artifacts in dozens from the Harappa Civilization, Mughal Era and even the Buddhist Belief between its 200,000 pieces of art and culture.

You can access the museum’s online exhibition by visiting this link.

5. Archaeological Survey of India with Google Arts & Culture

Quite unique to this list, is the collaboration between ASI and Google Arts & Culture. Most of the other mentions are museums that have been standing tall for decades now. ASI, on the other hand, is India’s apex archaeological body. The agency, which currently comes under the Ministry of Culture, was started in the year 1861.

ASI has done a spectacular job of putting together collections of photos and videos, spanning over categories like Mahabalipuram, Raj Ghat, Taj Mahal, Hampi and Nalanda. What makes this mention special is the collection of visits that have been put on this page. You can take a virtual tour of popular places like Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri as well as more delicate places of Indian culture like the Pattadakal, Bhimbetka and Church of St Francis of Assissi.

In Conclusion

The best part about these virtual tours is that they allow you to enjoy each of these places at your own pace. You can go through the intricate details of each monument, artifact, painting and sculpture.

Here are some tips for taking the museum tours more enriching for you and your family:

  1. Take them on your television or a projector. That would give you a more life-like experience.
  2. Before visiting any museum virtually with your family, ensure you have apt internet connection and device settings for optimal display experience. Also, make sure you go through the museum by yourself, before setting a session for your family. That way, you will know when and how to navigate.

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