How to visit the virtual museum?

Founded in 1937, the National Gallery of Art is free and open to the general public. For those who are not in Washington, D.C., they can watch their current exhibitions and listen to audio and video recordings of previous conferences online. The Met is home to over 2 million works of art, but you don't have to be in New York City to enjoy them. The institution's website features an online collection and virtual tours of some of its most impressive pieces, including works by Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Giotto di Bondone.

In addition, The Met also works with Google's Cultural Institute to make even more artworks (not in its own online collection) available for viewing. To help its users discover and view important works of art online in high resolution and detail, Google partnered with more than 1,200 cultural institutions around the world to archive and document priceless works of art and offer virtual tours of museums using Google Street View technology. The Google Art Project features fine art from the White House, the Qatar Museum of Islamic Art and even street art from Brazil's São Paulo. Here is a complete list of museums that you can visit virtually.

Take a tour of Street View to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts and photographs. The Street View style tour is fine (there are eight in total), but the online exhibitions are great, such as the interactive guide of the shadow master, Rembrandt. You can even stroll around Buantalenti Grotti in Boboli Gardens on a 360-degree virtual tour or check out the new digital archives. Google's virtual tour takes you through six contemporary art plants in Korea and around the world.

Enjoy 6 collections, 2 different 3D virtual tours and more than 200,000 works of art on this virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Discover the house where art becomes nature on this virtual tour of Gaudí's first house, Casa Vicens. On the 3D virtual tour, viewers can move around the galleries looking at the machines and their descriptions with the added benefit of hyperlinks to video and text explanations that provide more details and history of the exhibitions. As you may have guessed, the Dalí Theater-Museum also offers 3D virtual tours of its facilities, but not everything, so you will also need to have on your physical wish list.

In addition to an extensive online catalogue of the best of Pablo with 4,251 works, this temple of all things Picasso offers a 360-degree tour of some of the best preserved medieval architecture in Barcelona. The museum has partnered with Google Arts and Culture to bring several of its best works to life for virtual viewing. So skip the last episode of the tenth season of whatever you've been compulsively watching lately and explore this 3D virtual tour of the National Gallery instead. Grab your bottle of champagne, make yourself comfortable and take a virtual trip along the Grand Canal in Venice with a gondolier who will share some of the city's most famous love stories.

Roberta Meisels
Roberta Meisels

Subtly charming zombie aficionado. Subtly charming music guru. Amateur tv lover. Avid web junkie. Hipster-friendly tv ninja. General bacon fanatic.

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