While many of the world’s best cultural institutions remain closed or with restricted access, you can still get your cultural fix with these virtual experiences.
Due to a major refurbishment, London’s Courtauld Gallery had already closed its doors and is due to reopen next spring. In an immersive new experience, art lovers can take a virtual stroll through each room of the Gallery, getting up close and personal to masterpieces such as Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
While it is a shame not to be able to visit the striking Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi — the first outpost of the iconic institution outside of Paris — the museum is currently running an Art from Home series to keep the world entertained. A great educational resource, the Louvre team have been sharing stories about the art works in the collections, which range from Piet Mondrian paintings to ancient Mayan vases, through videos, audio and activities. The museum is also sharing daily cultural highlights on social media through @LouvreAbuDhabi.
Through virtual technology, you can now explore the ancient wonders of the Vatican without having to leave your living room. The museums have released seven 360-degree virtual tours online, allowing you to marvel at Roman sculptures, Renaissance frescoes and, of course, Michelangelo’s exquisite 5,000 sq ft painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, all while avoiding the sweltering heat and crowds.
Edward Hopper, Fondation Beyeler
No artist seems better suited to capture the ennui of isolation in the modern world quite like Edward Hopper. Shortly before its closure, Basel’s Fondation Beyeler released an interview with curator Ulf Küster on the museum’s current Edward Hopper exhibition. As well as discussing the show’s theme of landscapes, Küster also delves into his personal highlights, as well as the American artist’s enduring influence on contemporary artists and filmmakers such as Hitchcock and David Lynch. The museum is also encouraging people to get creative in quarantine by recreating "Hopperesque" scenes, uploading them to Instagram using the hashtag #FollowHoppersViews.
Andy Warhol, Tate Modern
Another American great at the centre of a major summer exhibition is Andy Warhol at Tate Modern. With its doors currently closed, the museum has released a new video with curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran, and a comprehensive tour through all 12 rooms of the exhibition. Rather than focusing on Andy Warhol the Pop Art icon, (although the exhibition includes plenty of his most recognisable works including paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s soup cans), the show aims to explore Warhol the person. ‘Popularly radical and radically popular’, Warhol was also the shy, homosexual son of immigrants who became one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.