The entire Luzon has been placed under “enhanced community quarantine” in a bid to keep the COVID-19 virus from claiming more patients in the country. In light of this measure, most of us, if we're lucky enough, have taken to an enforced homebound lifestyle, causing malls, businesses, and cultural establishments to close up as well for the time being. This includes the National Museum of the Philippines, which had announced their temporary closure last March 13, 2020. In the face of this global pandemic, other famous museums around the world have had no choice but to move in a similar direction.
Fret not though, because these pillars of the art world have found alternative ways to keep their doors open for free! And considering today’s unnerving climate, it might even do you good to take advantage of such. According to a recent article by Time Magazine, viewing art has been found to be a calming activity as it can “reduce stress and anxiety, increase motivation and serve as a mood booster.”
That said, if you’re inclined to do so, you can now view over 500 museums and galleries online with Google Arts & Culture. With their website, you may browse through an endless wealth of featured collections from all over the world. Heck, you can even go through the artworks as if you were walking through the gallery halls themselves, with Street View.
While an absolute blessing for our current situation, scrolling through their treasure trove of virtual tours can get overwhelming. To get you started, we listed some of the most recommended museums available in their gallery, along with a few standalone online experiences like the Vatican Museums and The Louvre.
The British Museum, London
The British Museum boasts over two million years of human history and culture nestled in its walls. Amongst famous artifacts from its eight million strong collection include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles, and an entire gallery dedicated to Ancient Egypt, housing around 140 mummies and coffins.
The Louvre Museum, Paris
Take an online trip around The Louvre through its own virtual tour library. Here, you can familiarize yourself with their Egyptian Antiquities section, or explore the remains of the moat which surrounded the original fortress that had once stood in its place, as built by French King Philippe Auguste.
Guggenheim Museum, New York
The Guggenheim isn’t just famous for its unique corkscrew spiralling architecture, it also happens to host an ever-growing collection of art form the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary eras.
Vatican Museums, Rome
Though not as high tech as a Google Arts & Culture render, the Vatican Museums offer their own 360-degree tours on their official website. Get as close as you can to the iconic marvel that is the Sistine Chapel, or click through Rapahel’s Rooms for a view of the Italian Renaissance painter’s wondrous frescoes.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
For more modern and contemporary Asian art, you can also virtually step into South Korea’s national museum. Spread across four buildings, Google’s Street View takes you into MMCA Seoul, where you can peruse both contemporary Korean art, and selected international works.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
You can also skim through the works of Renaissance greats such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli, in the U-shaped Uffizi Gallery in Florence, as taken from the ruling house of Medici’s art collection.
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