Would you like to take a free tour of the world’s major art museums (except for the cost of your Internet access)? In the words of art historian Andre Malraux, to discover a “museum without walls” from New York to Seoul, from Paris to Moscow, from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, where you can discover countless paintings, sculptures, photographs, crafts and other media led by art historians?
Because today, art museums, from the oldest institutions to 21st century art collections, are increasingly investing their time and creativity in developing websites for virtual visitors like you.
Here is a summary of the variety of websites of the art museums that are available to you.
THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT. Since February 2011, the Google Art Project has offered online access to art museums around the world, from 17 to more than 180 (and more) locations. The Art Gallery of South Australia, the Istanbul Museum of Art and the Phillips Collection are just some of the recent additions.
SUPER MUSEUMS. The Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Prado and the State Hermitage Museum are just some of the “mega” museums. For example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses thousands of works of art in various media spanning centuries of art history, from ancient Egypt to modern times. The galleries display European, American, African, Asian and Oceanic art. In addition, the museum displays special collections of costumes, furniture, armour and musical instruments.
Super museum websites often offer extensive online collections with colourful images and detailed descriptions. Current exhibitions are also highlighted with information about past and upcoming exhibitions. In addition, educational and interaction opportunities with special functions such as videos, podcasts, blogs, social media and virtual tours are available.
Google “List of the most visited art museums in the world” to find more supermuseums.
ITS OWN MUSEUM. Are you a fan of Van Gogh? The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of his works in the world. Its website is an excellent source for Van Gogh’s paintings, drawings and letters and offers a chronicle of the most important periods of his career. Or visit the websites of other museums dedicated to an artist, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Auguste Rodin, Marc Chagall and Norman Rockwell.
SPECIAL MUSEUMS. Some museums focus mainly on one style or period of art. You can browse the websites of the three unique museums below.
Impressionist treasures. The Musee d’Orsay, located in a converted station of Beaux Arts in Paris, is THE Museum of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, unparalleled in the number and quality of its works. This unique website presents more than 800 masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rodin and a long list of other leading artists of the time.
The genius of Italy. Florence was one of the birthplaces of the Renaissance and its Uffizi Gallery houses the most extensive collection of this art movement (including Botticelli’s famous birth of Venus and Primavera). And you can browse through almost any gallery in the Google Art Project.
Inside the Acropolis. The new Acropolis Museum (only opened in 2009) shows the most beautiful sculptures of Western art; experience them in virtual reality on the museum’s website as well as in the Google Art Project.
MASTER COLLECTORS. Discover the best of the great collectors and their art visions on the websites of the following art museums: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, an art palace built by the American heiress Gardner in her hometown of Boston; the J. The Paul Getty Museum presents the precious collections of the oil billionaire at two locations, the Los Angeles Center and the Getty Villa, decorated with ancient Greek and Roman art in Malibu; and The Frick Collection, the elegant Fifth Avenue villa with the 19th century Mughal, Henry Clay Frick, with galleries by Vermeer, Rembrandt and other famous European artists.
MUSEUMS, MUSEUMS AND MORE MUSEUMS. When the first Guggenheim Museum, designed by architectural pioneer Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York City in 1959, its founder Solomon R. Guggenheim was dead for a decade.