#InternationalMuseumDay: Virtual Museum Tours You Can Enjoy From The Comfort Of Your Home

The pandemic has put a halt on all our travel plans and caused a major downfall in the tourism industry globally. One of the many places people love to visit in every city is museums. And why wouldn’t they? They’re filled with so many artefacts, history and knowledge. While some museums in the world have started opening with restrictions and precautionary measures, most are still shut. But who said you need to physically go to a museum? We’re living in a digital age, and thanks to technology, museums have online tours. This International Museum Day, we give you a round-up of some of the most famous museums in the world offering virtual tours, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

1. Museum Of Modern Art

As the name suggests, the MoMA in New York is known for collecting and developing modern art. It houses the very popular Starry Night byVincent Van Gogh. The museum is holding a bunch of virtual shows, which take you inside exhibitions and artworks as well as shares artists’ voices through live conversations with curators and artists, video stories, books, music, and more. Under its Virtual Views show, the museum is holding a live Q&A with Lucy Gallun, Associate Curator, and River Bullock, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Department of Photography, with artist Yto Barrada, as they discuss A Raft, Barrada’s iteration of MoMA’s Artist’s Choice exhibition series till May 20.

2. Van Gogh Museum 

If you’re a fan of Van Gogh’s work and the Starry Night isn’t enough, you can head to the museum dedicated to his work. Situated in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum’s online exhibitions and shows let you explore the artworks, watch 4K virtual tours on YouTube, get creative or dive into compelling stories about the famous artist.


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3. The Louvre

Enjoy the experience at the world’s largest art museum and the home of the Mona Lisa digitally with its first virtual reality project, ‘Mona Lisa: Beyond The Glass’. The Louvre in Paris has a bunch of virtual tours such as The Advent Of The Artist (which takes you through the artists of the Renaissance, featuring works by Delacroix, Rembrandt, Tintoret and more); Power Plays (focussing on the connection between art and political power, from antiquity to the present day); The Body In Movement (explores dance and how artists represent movement with various materials) and Founding Myths: From Hercules To Darth Vader (artists take inspiration from myths).


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4. National Gallery Of Art

Washington DC’s popular museum is now open for visits, but for those who can’t get there, don’t worry. You can sit at home and take part in some of their online activities: Sound Thoughts of Art (a podcast exploring the intersection between sight and sound and takes place biweekly), immersive blogs on art and education, and Virtual Cinema (an unusual film you can watch for free every Wednesday).

‘malni – towards the ocean, towards the shore’- an upcoming film by Sky Hopinka streaming from May 26-June1 (Photograph: National Gallery Of Art)

5. Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

This museum in Mumbai has gained immense popularity among art enthusiasts with its multitude of events. From introducing #TuesdayTalks that takes you through past public lectures, #FlashbackFridays in which artists talk about their work displayed in the museum, to interesting activities such as the #VirtualMuseumHunt, there’s something to indulge in every month!


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6. The J. Paul Getty Museum

European artwork as old as the 8th century can be found in the renowned Los Angeles museum. The Getty Museum has online exhibitions lined up for May and June. Whether you want to know all about the Getty Museum collection through Getty Get-Togethers or discover how to write cuneiform, a 5,000-year-old writing system from Mesopotamia through the Cuneiform Cookies workshop, there’s a host of events till the end of next month to keep yourself occupied.


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7. National Women’s History Museum

With a mission to tell the stories of trailblazing women, the National Women’s History Museum educates, inspires and empowers, shapes the future, and provides a complete view of American history. Learn all about the historical women who have broken the glass ceiling in the field of space and astronomy, social and political movements, fashion, sports, and more.


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8. National Museum Of The Women Of The Arts

Housing more than 4,500 works from over 1,000 artists, dating from the 16th century to the present, this Washington DC museum is the only museum in the world solely dedicated to celebrating the diverse artistic achievements of women. Its online collection features over 200 works of art by women artists searchable by name, time period, medium, and theme. Some of the must-watch virtual presentations include Paper Routes, DMV Colour and Ambreen Butt.


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9. Virtual Museum Tours On Google Arts And Culture 

If you have an appetite for more, head straight to Google’s Arts and Culture section, which includes over 2,500 museums and galleries with digital tours. For some, you can also get the experience of walking on-ground with the help of the Google Street View feature.

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