5 Virtual Art Tours to enjoy a home
Ai Weiwei, Jenny Saville, Dylan Gebbia-Richards, Joan Miró, Anselm Kiefer, Lee Bul. These are just a few of my favourites, but the list of awe-inspiring and influential artists is endless. Hands up who else is missing the art world? *Sob*.
Coronavirus may have us all on lockdown but fortunately, the city’s unparalleled art institutions have paved the way for us to enjoy art from our living rooms. From the Royal Academy of Arts to the Tate, many galleries and museums have digitised their collections, making them accessible to all.
Not only aesthetically pleasing, but for the immense, positive impact that art has on mental health, what better time is there to add a splash of creativity back into your life? We’ve rounded up the best virtual art tours from leading London galleries to give you that much-needed injection of culture.
Undoubtedly one of 2020’s most eagerly awaited exhibitions, the Tate’s Andy Warhol retrospective was open for a mere five days before closing due to the lockdown. Luckily for us, Warhol’s iconic work can be viewed online via a guided video tour of the exhibition with Tate curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran. The Tate Modern also has a number of online displays including Artist Rooms with American artist Ed Ruscha.
Take the virtual tour of the Andy Warhol retrospective here:
Billed as the UK’s most popular tourist attraction and also the world’s oldest national public museum, the British Museum is a treasure trove of over 8 million historical artefacts, including the museum’s world-famous Egyptian collection and the Rosetta Stone. Make music as you peruse the museum’s remarkable collections on the slick, beautifully melodic, interactive guide, offering artwork and objects dating back centuries and spanning every continent.
Enjoy a virtual tour of the British Museum here.
Though the elegant Courtauld Gallery has been closed for refurbishment since 2018, it is still recognised for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including work by art aficionados Cézanne, Monet and Van Gogh. A must-visit for lovers of classic art, the gallery’s room-by-room 3D tour allows viewers to zoom in on masterpieces so closely that individual brush strokes and paint textures can be seen in detail.
The Courtauld is just one example of how we are desperately craving culture, as the gallery has seen its virtual visits skyrocket since lockdown began with a staggering 14,600 visits in March 2020 alone, compared to under 9,000 visits for the whole of 2019.
View the Courtauld 3D gallery here.
Acclaimed for its annual Summer Exhibition, the prestigious art institution is helping you access and appreciate world-class art from home. Explore and enjoy video tours of recent exhibition ‘Picasso and Paper’ and current exhibition ‘Léon Spilliaert’ online.
If you can’t get enough of the RA, check out this stunning virtual tour by 360° specialists Eye Revolution, allowing viewers to revisit the 2014 architecture exhibition ‘Sensing Spaces’ room-by-room, which featured the striking installations of seven international architects.
Rediscover Sensing Spaces here.
Home to famous artworks such as Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus and a number of J.M.W. Turner paintings, the National Gallery is one of the most famous museums in the world, placing it firmly on our list. Spend time brushing up on your European art by taking in panoramic views of the 18 Gallery rooms, in collaboration with Google Street View, and to get even more detail, don’t miss the gallery’s online collection.
Just as the Tate’s Andy Warhol exhibit, the National Gallery’s ‘Titian: Love Desire Death’ exhibition opened days before having to close as lockdown was enforced, but you can still learn about the show on the National Gallery YouTube channel.
Take a virtual tour of the National Gallery here.
If you’ve exhausted all of the London galleries, what about looking further afield? Google Arts and Culture has linked up with an impressive array of international galleries and museums such as the MoMA in New York, the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain and Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, allowing you to visit them virtually.
View the full list here.