With the magic of the internet and the promise of an unwavering WiFi connection, you too can spend an afternoon getting lost in virtual art museums. The Louvre Museum to start with. Next, the MoMA—coffee in hand. The V&A is also waiting for you. All in minutes.
Unless you’re Netflix Bling Empire’s Anna Shay, an afternoon in Paris can’t really be a reality unless you’re already in Paris. For the week. Or, second, if your company’s annual leave allowance is very generous. Spontaneity and trips that require hours spent dozing, hopefully, in an airplane cabin don’t usually mix; for us mere mortals, that is.
For better or worse, the proliferation of virtual events in light of the pandemic – while profoundly changing the nature of experiential industries – has made arts and culture in general much more accessible. Your staring competitions with the Mona Lisa would have taken place behind thick glass – and security-protected rails – anyway; why not via a blue-lit 13-inch laptop screen too?
Journey West: America
First stop: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s antiques tanned against Dutch masterpieces. Valuable and priceless artifacts, housed under a square block in Manhattan. Slip into your best impression of Blair Waldorf and imagine yourself sitting on the steps of the Met on a school day. Instead of judging young high schoolers in last season’s shoes, you enjoy a virtual journey through the Met 360° style Where, framelessby telephone.
Rather than meandering through the New York City subway where you’d inevitably get on instead of downtown, you’ll then head to the Museum of Modern Art – not with just one ride on the subway – but a simple change of tabs. the MoMA Virtual Views Project offers an in-depth and truly microscopic look at some of history’s most iconic works of art. Already seen Van Gogh’s Starry Night unaccompanied by a sea of heads and smartphones, leaning forward? We neither. Here is your chance.
Then: New York to Washington DC. Without the dodgy Greyhound bus ride. The collection of portraits of Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery is a beautiful tribute to the people, not the events, that shaped American history. Given the recent inauguration, may we suggest the retrospective on ‘American Presidents‘?
Across the Atlantic to Europe
London is calling and the Victoria and Albert Museum is at rest. The V&A does not disappoint with a virtual library 1.2 million — yes, million! — objects to be sorted, deep dives into hosiery at the Glastonbury Festival Archive.
A Eurostar trip? No thanks. Louvre Museum is only a click away, after all. Practice your pale smile in the mirror, for a one-on-one in virtual reality with the mysterious woman of the house, the mona-lisa? On the cards.
Next, a surreal trip to Figueres, Spain, for an encounter with Salvador Dalí in The Dalí Theatre-Museum. Take a leisurely stroll through the virtual tour of the museum; our favorite piece is the one containing the Saliva-Sofa, inspired by Mae West’s crimson red pout.
Our last stop on the European tour: Amsterdam. See Dutch masterpieces up close and personal from the collection of the Rijksmuseum — their virtual interface is one of the best we’ve seen so far.
Next, a stop at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne – Australia’s largest art museum – for their GNV Triennial Exhibition 2020n, on view until April 2021. The Porky Hefer Exhibition is particularly spellbinding, with its larger-than-life octopus occupying what looks like a space cavernous enough to accommodate a medium-sized concert.
Back in Hong Kong
And finally – hit in Hong Kong. Keep on going. Stretch your legs. Also try a downward-facing dog while you’re at it. If virtual art museums aren’t for you anymore, our revolving door list of current art exhibitions will fill your dance card for more artistic inspiration — this time, in person.
Header image courtesy of Sophie Louisnard to Unsplash