Going forward into 2022, there are a lot of goals I'm trying to reach. And as I start on my new Museums and Anthropology minor, one of those goals is to visit more art museums. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that I currently live in the middle of nowhere, makes that a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. However, as the pandemic continues to make travel and high capacity rates in establishments difficult, a lot of art museums have paired with Google to offer a virtual experience. Not only making it possible to visit local museums remotely, but also museums in other countries you may never have the opportunity to see.
Each Museum is set up to browse in a few ways. Start by learning about the history of the museum itself with a slideshow of historical facts and pictures. Then browse through different categories of art: oil paint, modern art, post-impressionism, etc. You can organize the art in different ways too, either by popularity, time period, or even color scheme. Some have specific online exhibits to visit. A few even have the option to take a walking tour through the museum on a program similar to Google Maps street view.
Here are some noteworthy options to take a look at while stuck at home:
Musée d’Orsay has a pretty interesting history. Once a popular train station turned art museum makes for one of the most popular locations to browse famous artists. Containing works from artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Auguste-Renoir, and Paul Gaugin, this museum is definitely worth an online walkthrough.
The MoMA in Manhattan is the first ever art museum to focus on Modern Art. They have a beautiful array of works such as Monet's Water Lilies and Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night as well as even later works such as those by Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger, and Elizabeth Murray. This is an amazing place to view contemporary art and see something you’ve never seen before.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. is located right next door to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History making it a very popular tourist destination. Along with its ability to browse artwork virtually, they are currently offering two online exhibits: Fashioning a Nation and Vermeer and the Masters of genre Painting. The first offering an inside view on older American fashion design and the second offering a series of commonplace scene portraits and the history behind them. Exhibits like these are a great way to peruse art while also getting a deeper understanding of its history.
If 2022 is going to be another year of social distancing and restricted travel, we might as well make the best of it. Next time you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, keep some of these art museums in mind.