For the last couple of months museums around the world have been closed due to the pandemic lock downs. Most folks under stay at home orders are looking for ways to spend the day and in many cases home school the kids.
No one really knows when things will begin to reopen and when it will be safe for us to venture out again. In these uncertain times we don’t know when we can travel further than our local grocery stores and possibly malls. But staying at home doesn’t mean we can’t visit our favorite places around the world or find new ones to explore.
With the help of technology we can travel the world and visit world class museums around the world! Just because they’re closed doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the art work displayed in their galleries.
Of course it’s not the same as traveling to these countries and viewing the artwork in person. But in these trying times virtual museum tours have given me a break from the bleak news that is broadcast on the TV and social media. A little beauty always brightens the day!
Here are just a few of my favorite museums that you can enjoy from the comfort of you living room couch. You can even visit them with your kids; it’s a great way to introduce them to different artists and media. My grandson Devon and I have spent some time together exploring the galleries and I even encourage him to create his own art work based on some of the works he’s seen at these wonderful museums.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
Situated on the banks of the Nervion River in Bilbao, one of the largest cities in Spain’s Basque Region the Guggenheim Museum has become an icon of the region.
Designed by Frank Gehry and opened in October 1997. The building itself is a work of art. It is a masterpiece of modernism making it the perfect place to showcase contemporary works of art.
A virtual tour of this museum is sure to land it on your travel bucket list. So settle down with a glass of Riojas (red wine) and an assortment of Pinchos (appetizers) and enjoy this awesome museum.
The British Museum
This is one of my favorites. Located on Great Russell St. in Bloomsbury, London, the British Museum is a must see. Founded in 1753 the museum is home to a variety of artwork from around the world as well as the Reading Room located in the center of the great court.
Among the must see attractions of the museum are the Elgin Marbles, a collection of beautiful marble statuary and reliefs acquired by Lord Elgin from the Athen’s Parthenon in the 19th. Century; the Rosetta Stone which held the key that allowed modern humans to unlock ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics; this crystal skull; and the Moai, the huge sculpted head from Easter Island.
Housed in the former Gare d’ Orsay (train station) which was built in 1899 for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 this museum is a must see for fans of Impressionist artists.
This museum is home to artwork by Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, and other great impressionist artists. I’m a huge fan!
Monet’s Water Lily’s, Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, Manet’s Olympia, and Degas’ Little Dancer statue are just a few of the great works of art in this museum. So sit down with a nice glass of French wine and a cheese board of French cheeses and enjoy this delightful museum.
Since you’re in Paris visiting the D’Orsay you can continue on to the Louvre. This museum is the world’s most visited museum, trust me the crowds shuffling thru the halls is a testament to this claim. But with the world social distancing the best way to see this popular museum is on a virtual tour; no masks, no gloves; and no crowds!
The Louvre is home to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as well as other Renaissance Masters including Botticelli, Raphael, Giotto, and Titian. The Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory statues also call the Louvre home as well as a fine collection of Egyptian antiquities. It would take days if not weeks to walk the collections housed in this fine museum, but you can see all the highlights from the comfort of your home.
The Vatican Museums
The highlight of the Vatican Museums is arguably the famous Sisitine Chapel whose ceiling is a masterpiece by Michelangelo. But there is so much more to see.
You’ll find the famous winding Bramante Staircase here. You can also marvel at Raphael’s famous mural called School of Athens, it’s one of my favorites! Then there are the maps, tapestries, statues, and paintings.
So settle down with a fine glass of Frescati and a pizza and enjoy this wonderful museum!
National Archaeological Museum of Athens
This historic building is located in Athens, Greece. It is home to some amazing archaeological finds including classical Greek statues and bronzes, the Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient hand powered “analog computer”, and golden items such as death masks like the mask of Agamemnon.
So grab some bread and a dish of Tzatziki and a glass of Assyrtiko (white wine) and enjoy these ancient wonders.
Egyptian Museum in Cairo
My grandson loved our virtual tour of this museum. He found the mummy room amazing, as I did when I was actually visiting this museum several years ago.
The museum is famous for its mummies, of course, and it’s King Tut Exhibit. But it houses a huge assortment of artifacts found in archaeological sites around the country. You’ll see stone sarcophagi, Egyptian tablets, statues, reliefs and so much more.
So sit down with a plate of mezzes or a falafel sandwich and enjoy the wonders this museum has to offer.