Museum  March 17, 2020  Chandra Noyes

500+ Museums You Can Visit From Home

Ståle Grut - Unsplash

People passing by Vincent van Gogh’s self portrait and snapping a photo at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Social distancing and quarantine in the age of coronavirus mean significant life changes around the world. Staying home includes missing out on many things, including our beloved cultural institutions. Major and minor museums and galleries around the world are shuttered for the foreseeable future to ensure the safety of both staff and visitors. Luckily, even when their doors are closed, there are ways to access their priceless collections from home.

For nearly twenty years, the Google Arts & Culture project has been meticulously documenting museums and cultural sites around the world. Their high-quality images of artworks let you examine canvasses as if through a microscope, while their virtual tours allow you to stroll the halls of some of the finest museums in the world.

Now may be a great time to take yourself on a tour of famous museums in countries you’ve never been able to visit. Or perhaps take a deep dive into a favorite artist’s oeuvre, gaining a new, intimate knowledge of their work. The offerings on Google Arts & Culture are extensive enough to get you through the next weeks or months of tiring of the art hanging on your own walls. Here are a few of our favorite museums to virtually visit.

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Florence's Uffizi Gallery is one of the most-visited museums in the world, and with good reason. It's home to some of the greatest paintings in all of art history and is particularly well-known for its Renaissance collection. Its beautiful halls are usually bustling, and visiting from home gives you the place to yourself.

screenshot, Casa Azul, Google Art Project

La Casa Azul (The Blue House) was Frida Kahlo's life-long home and sanctuary. She transformed the space in ways only she could, filling it with bright colors and her own art. Now it is home to the Museo Frida Kahlo, and as it is the place where she was born and died, it offers unique insights into her biography and artworks.

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Japan's oldest and largest museum, the Tokyo National Museum houses some of the country's most prized cultural treasures, dating from prehistory to the present. Explore beautiful woodblock prints like the one above, textiles, delicate ceramics, and more.

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Boasting a collection of over 8 million objects, the British Museum's holdings are encyclopedic. Great works ranging from ancient Rome to modern times offer something for everyone, not to mention the beauty of the building itself.

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On a good day, one could maybe take in half of everything that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has to offer. Now that time to devote to the galleries may not be an issue for many people, thanks to Google, we can explore all the nooks and crannies of this great institution.

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If Dutch Masters are your thing, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is the museum for you. With Rembrandts and Vermeers to spare housed in a gorgeous, historic building, the eighty galleries also include modern art.

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A Venetian palace in the heart of Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a magical institution like no other. Created in the vision of the museum's namesake, its galleries have remained unchanged for decades (save for the odd million-dollar theft). The priceless collection is centered around a lush atrium that brings light into the galleries that border it.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra Noyes is Managing Editor for Art & Object.

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