The Covid-19 virus, besides wreaking havoc over the globe and compelling us to lead cloistered lives, has made us realise just how essential technology is to us in every sphere of life, even art. The attempt of the older generations to steer us youngsters away from staring into the lit screen, has failed in the face of all requirements and luxuries.
Galleries, museums and other art organizations have resorted to virtual mediums to cater to the desires of art-loving folks all across the world. The virtual experience in no way matches up to the physical experience of viewing art. However, the idea of enjoying the ‘The Potato Eaters’ or the ‘Avalokiteshvara’ sculpture from the comforts of one’s home has appealed to the worldwide art audience. And it is evident that this virtual experience is here to stay regardless of a pandemic situation.
So, as we head towards a future of galleries and museums inside our homes, let’s take a trip through some of the virtual art tours presented by four of the finest art museums, nationally and internationally based!
National Museum, New Delhi
Established in 1949, the National Museum of New Delhi at Janpath Road holds one of the largest and enriched collections of art, artefacts and antiques of Indian and foreign origin spanning over 5,000 years. Apart from being a museum, the National Museum provides educational opportunities and resources through events, internships and courses for art and culture enthusiasts.
The virtual tour facility by this museum has developed steadily over the last two decades. The most recent addition to their virtual tours list was the SCO Online Exhibition of the Shared Buddhist Heritage, a collaborative virtual display of Buddhist sculptural art from seven other nations apart from India.
Bringing together a collection of Indian and Western paintings, everyday artefacts, manuscripts, armoury, jewellery, coins and other historically significant objects, the museum represents a unique amalgamation of a shared historical, cultural, and political past. The website offers the audience a view of the collections in the form of a virtual tour and an online exhibition.
Get a view of those arcane relics here.
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
Nothing like a touch of Deccan royalty to dazzle your mood and take a virtual walk through of the epic assemblage of Indian and foreign works of art at the Salar Jung Museum of Hyderabad!
Originally owned by the Salar Jung royal family, the museum was endowed to the Indian government after the demise of Salar Jung III in 1949. It was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951. During nobleman Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan’s (Salar Jung III) term as the Prime Minister of Hyderabad during the 19th century, he had spent a significant amount of his income on collecting works of art and antiquities over the period of thirty-five years from all across the world.
Segregated into ten galleries, the museum showcases a collection of art and artefacts ranging from paintings and sculptures to Qurans and antique clocks. Audiences can access the virtual tour of the museum through the website where they can enjoy the plethora of artworks as per the gallery system. In the past, the museum has been surrounded by rumors of significant pieces being misplaced and the present stock being just a glimpse of the original collection. However, no amount of investigations have been fruitful to acquire the lost pieces. Hence, before anything else from the museum goes missing visit the galleries inside the Salar Jung Museum here.
The Art Institute of Chicago
A lazy afternoon spent in perusing art by Edward Hopper, Alma Thomas, or Georgia O’Keeffe- is the perfect way to chase away those home quarantine blues!
Founded in 1879, The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. The museum is known for its curatorial endeavours and harbours a collection of over 3,00,000 works of art of American, Asian, European, Byzantine origin and more.
Viewers can explore this vast collection directly through the museum website or take the virtual tour which has been accommodated in the Google Arts & Culture platform of the 360 degree museum experience. From Kerry James Marshall and Henri Matisse to Asian textile works and Buddhist sculptures, the museum offers a variation and dynamicity that appeals to all kinds of art lovers.
So without further delay, dive into this collection here and witness the colorful and grandiose works of art yourself!
The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
It’s not really a talk about art, unless there’s some good old nostalgic parley over Vincent van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night!
One of the most visited art spaces in the world, the Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated majorly to the works of artist Vincent van Gogh. Designed by Gerrit Rietvald and Kisho Kurokawa, the museum presents the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings.
The feature Enjoy the Museum from Home enables viewers to virtually tour the collection comprising 200 paintings, 400 drawings and 700 letters by Van Gogh. Besides these the museum also features works by the renowned contemporaries of Van Gogh such as Emile Bernard, Paul Signac, Manet and many more.
So visit here and take a long look at those awe-inspiring pieces of art.