Art Museum

Virtual Museum Tours Offer A Taste Of Culture In A Time Of Quarantine

Coronavirus has caused millions worldwide to quarantine themselves, and thousands of different industries to adjust to the way they’re running their businesses in order to prevent the further spread of this novel virus. One of the most recent and significant changes the world has seen is the closing of hundreds of cultural attractions such as all Broadway productions, Disneyland, and multiple museums. While you’re on your leave from work and waiting for the world to figure out how to further stop this virus, there’s a multitude of things you can do to entertain yourself from home. 

If you’re one of the millions of individuals who had plans to visit any of these cultural landmarks within the coming months and are now disappointed that you had to postpone, have no fear, as many museums worldwide have begun, or are continuing to, offer free virtual tours through their establishments via their website for your viewing pleasure until you can safely visit them again. Here’s a list of just a few options of places you can “travel” to through your computer screen:

The British Museum in London is located in the heart of the city and holds some of the most famous mummy remains in Europe. Their virtual tour allows users online to travel through the archives and explore the historical contexts behind some of the more predominantly known pieces. 

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The Guggenheim Museum in New York is known for its iconic spiral staircase architecture and multitude of art pieces from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Google’s Street View lets visitors walk the staircase online and stand in front of any piece from any era that they please, all from their couch. 

Google in general is the main reason all of these virtual tours are possible. Their Arts and Culture department recently partnered with over 500 museums and galleries worldwide to deliver virtual tours that make users feel like their standing in the museums themselves. This effort was already in motion before the corona pandemic, however, now more than ever Google is emphasizing their newest feature that delivers just a taste of the culture all of these establishments have to offer. 

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has two major online exhibits that show off two very specific art periods. The first is an exhibit exploring how American fashion evolved between the years of 1740 and 1895. It’s focus is on the textiles used and how gendered style developed from the colonial to Revolutionary eras of history. The second focuses on a series of Baroque paintings from famous Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. 

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The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea gives New York City’s MoMA a true run for its money. While the museum itself obviously emphasizes more modern works to come from Korean artists, the virtual tour seamlessly incorporates historical contexts to past art influences for the more modern exhibits. 

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has quickly become one of the most popular museums on the planet. The virtual tour explores not only the many works done by Van Gogh, but also takes users through the tragedy and genius that was Van Gogh’s inner workings. The museum itself holds the largest collection of work done by the artist, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings/sketches, and over 750 personal letters. 

These examples only scratch the surface of other tours and exhibits Google has given the public access too. The ability to travel across the world to one of the most famous museums all with the click of a button is truly the definition of living in the future. So explore some of the 500+ museum and gallery options today, and go where you’ve never gone before.


Vienna Opens “Made For Instagram” Selfie Museum

Museums have been a hub of culture ever since world history originated. They give us a special insight into certain aspects of the past, humanity, and events that shape different areas of the world. The MET in New York City is the home to thousands of years worth of art and architecture from all across the globe, while the more specific Museum of Modern Art showcases one era of artistic expression and its evolution throughout time. 

Throughout the past decade museums have seen a decline in foot traffic. This is partially due to the fact that the “museum experience” has turned into more of a social affair than a cultural one. Most people go to museums just to say that they did and so they can post pictures of themselves next to trendy or interesting artifacts/art. In a study done by Artsy Online Magazine, it was found that 37% of individuals who go to museums don’t view it as a “cultural experience”. Younger generations have redefined their meaning of culture to become a part of everyday life. Street and performance art, food and drink experiences, any going out activity that humans take part in, that’s what is becoming the growing definition of modern culture. Although culture as a word is getting a bit of a face-lift, it doesn’t discount the years and years of valuable pieces that are displayed in the museums of the world and their impact on history. 

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This new market for culture has sparked a new type of museum experience to grow throughout the world. Today, it’s all about impact, and the best way to make an impact is to go viral online, so more museums that contain trendy, modern, and visually stimulating exhibits are beginning to appear. The Museum of Sex in New York City has hundreds of displays of Victorian sex toys, interactive sensory experiences, and even a bouncy house room full of inflatable breasts that you and a friend can bounce on and post online. The Museum of Ice Cream originated in San Francisco and is known for its vastly colorful and interactive exhibits, all topped off with a pool of sprinkles. Are you sensing a pattern? The main idea behind museums such as these is to be the most social media friendly. What’s more Instagram worthy than a picture of you in your sweetest outfit (pun intended) chilling in a pool full of rainbow sprinkles? 

These museums appeal to a younger audience, and therefore become trends on social media, and the business just booms. The Museum of Ice Cream as a business is now worth over $200 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Vienna has taken all of this into account and has opened a new museum that was created with the sole purpose of being Instagrammed. So much so that the name of the museum is the “nofilter_museum”, meant to resemble an Instagram username. 

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According to BBC News, the museum is built with 24 interactive rooms all equipped with multiple backgrounds and exhibits perfect for anyone’s Instagram feed. The official website adds that “there are also ball pits, floral walls and glitter confetti, designed for creative selfies. There is even a room filled with fake food such as cupcakes and macaroons.” The museum has already sparked the interests of many online influencers who want to go to the museum for their next viral post. A museum built around the idea that it’s basically just one giant backdrop for photographs, is the new wave of business geared towards an influencer market. BBC projects the museum will get anywhere from 300-500 visitors a day. 

“I think it’s the future of museums, the main point is that it’s not only about selfies, but also about having a good time, being able to interact while experiencing art. I do think that people spend a lot of time on their phones and that’s why we try to combine that with something real and something fun. But I don’t think it is our responsibility to educate them,” says Petra Scharinger, co-creator of nofilter_museum to BBC.

Targeting that specific market is one of the smartest business decisions any company can make in 2019. Influencers get business based on the fact that their social media accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers. Those followers are basically an audience and their posts act as the entertainment, advertisements included. Companies contact these individuals to show off their product on their feed to reach that large following. Museums have seen this and want the same level of advertising. Thus, the Instagram museum was born.