With the world placed in lockdown, museums knock down their walls to let the public in on a virtual tour.

/ 1 August 2020

We all know it. The year 2020 is cancelled. And so are a lot of shows, gigs, performances, acts, and channels of art. Galleries and museums had to close their doors for a while to keep up with the guidelines of quarantine. But even at the expense of losing the immersive experience, art thrives in ways that we may not fathom. Possibilities after possibilities, art remains ever-evolving and finally it comes back closer as ever with the emergence of virtual tours.

Virtual museums have long been taking space on the internet mostly through a museum’s official webpage. Documented herein are details about the artist, medium, and the artwork as well as information about the museums’ structure and floor plans. But with the dawn of 3D mapping, a whole new immersive experience of walking around and recreating the navigation closer to reality gives us a glimpse inside of an actual museum. It’s this experience that adds depth to the appreciation of art but of course it can only get real as it gets.

Google Arts & Culture partnered up with over 2000 leading museums around the world to give you a virtual glimpse of top artworks around the world. Through this project, you can use a Google Street View to navigate around corridors or hallways and see the artworks simulated to give you an idea of their actual sizes. Plus, the site also offers a lot of interesting activities from the viral Turn Yourself Into an Artwork trend, art quizzes to challenge you, facts on different cultures and traditions, search art by color if you feel like it, and more. It goes beyond just a simple walk around with these activities to keep your adrenaline for art rushing.

Apart from virtual museums, there’s also online exhibitions on the internet which are conducted for smaller spaces and galleries. Examples include the Brave New World Project last July 23 where they featured artworks by various artists as inspired by the people who strived to persevere during the COVID-19 situation, and the Lingua Franca virtual group show of Galerie Roberto last June to July. The latter features the same walkthrough experience which shows the art’s placements as it is on the actual establishment, saving you the effort of going out of your way.

For the fans of contemporary art, get ready to explore beyond your screens and step into these virtual tours to see how the art experience has evolved more than just a brief virtual walk. Some of these may not be the navigational type you’re seeking, but these virtual tours can spark intrigue on how you define the art experience from your screens.

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art in New York

Who would skip a museum that’s devoted to the modern era? Take a tour to one of the most prestigious museums in the world that houses over 150,000 artworks, approximately 22,000 films, and over 300,000 books on more than 70,000 artists. From April to July this year, they opened their Virtual Tours on select Thursdays to bring you their exquisite exhibitions from select artists so you can join and relish the grandeur. Stay tuned on upcoming shows because they mentioned that more additional programs are to come.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

This museum houses different mediums including print, sculpture, photography, installations, and new media. The virtual tour will show its grand facade and garden including several indoor and outdoor areas that boast a lot about its commitment to reward its visitors with a cultural experience. With its intentions to function as a cultural platform that bridges communication and contemporary art with various disciplines such as art, science, and humanities, it’s worth a visit to learn more about not just Korean culture itself, but also cop a look at some prestigious works from artists including Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys.

The Broad in Los Angeles

Step into the blinding lights of world-renowned Yayoi Kusama’s immersive abyss titled Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. This exhibit has been widely-known for its grand spectacle that features Yayoi’s signature immersive and over-the-top experience. This time, it may not be navigational but you’re in for as long as you want through its The Broad’s YouTube channel featuring an added layer of experience through the sounds of various celebrated musicians.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in New York

If you ever dreamt of experiencing Guggenheim’s infamous spiral staircase without physically going there, here’s the closest you can get. Immerse in wide arrays of art revolutions that spans from Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern down to Contemporary eras through a virtual walk in this prestigious New York museum.

Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles

An interesting take on end games and heartbreaks through a virtual space that treasures stories and possessions donated by a donor’s ex. To quote its tour introduction, “It is a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.” This one’s not navigational but its a virtual tour on stories and musings that are very intimate and personal and may trigger delicate reactions from its visitors. Step in at your own risk and be prepared to feel feels.