Day 99 – Online art museums

During my interview with Ann at #365firstschallenge the other day, we briefly touched upon how easy it was to find new things to do during the times of social isolation. Every day there appears to be an abundance of new resources, recipes, tutorials, and opportunities available, and I’m actually finding it hard to fit it all in! Don’t get me wrong, the more time I spend keeping busy means the less time watching the news, and that can only beonly a good thing. One resource that I become aware of over the past few days, was that museums, both at home and away, were starting to upload a lot of their collections online. There were so many in fact that I could have dedicated the next two weeks of new things exclusively to visiting online museums. Instead, I decided to do a quick whirlwind visit to a couple of art museums.

The Staedel Museum – image from frankfur-tourismus.de

I started in Frankfurt with the world-famous Städel Museum. They have an incredible amount of art in their Digital Collections: pieces are grouped together by theme, and you can also listen to a presentation on each one. I delved into their Old Masters collection and found it really interesting.

Next stop was the Louvre in Paris, where I actually watched a surprisingly soothing walking tour through the museum.

A short but sweet tour through the Louvre

Although I couldn’t see that much of the art (which I imagine is a bit like the real experience), the building was really beautiful. It also struck me how strange it is seeing large crowds of people together now, and nobody with masks on. Very unusual.

Next, I actually stayed in Paris and got a bit distracted by taking a virtual tour of the Eiffel Tour. I find these videos so interesting: shot at eye level so it gives the illusion that you are walking there. They’re also quite relaxing thanks to the ambient sounds – I never thought I’d say that about the gentle hum of large crowds.

After my brief detour up to Eiffel Tour, I hopped over to Amsterdam to the Van Gogh Museum. Here, I took full advantage of the Google Arts and Culture function and took a virtual tour inside the museum (similar to how you use Street View). I was able to view some of Van Gogh’s famous works such as his self-portraits or the Sunflowers, but I also got to discover a new favourite – Almond Blossom. Simple, yet lovely, I was grateful that I got a chance to discover it.

Almond Blossom by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

This was such a rewarding way to spend an afternoon: I would never have experienced all of these museums this year otherwise. All for free, and all from the comfort of my own home – what more could I ask for?

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