Top Ten: Virtual Museum Tours
With student travel (and really all travel) sidelined for the time being thanks to covid-19, lots of teachers and parents are looking for ways to bring the world to their kids from home. Thankfully, museums and art institutions around the world have stepped up their game and now offer virtual museum tours. What a great way for teachers to show their classes all of the amazing things they might one day see on a real student tour!
1. Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Italy)
Commissioned by Cosimo I dé Medici back in the 1560s, the Uffizi was not originally designed to be a museum. It was to be a meeting place for the powerful, hence the name “Uffizi” which means offices in Italian. Today, these “offices” house some of the most precious works of art in the world and are visited by nearly 2 million people every year. Walking the corridors of the Uffizi, your student group will see artwork by Raphael, Botticelli, Cimabue, Caravaggio, Titian, Michelangelo, and Leonardo de Vinci (to name a few).
The Uffizi has partnered with Google to bring four exhibits online. Check them out here.
2. Museum of Modern Art, MoMA (New York)
MoMa is one of the more “modern” museums on our list (see what we did there?). As one of the first museums to showcase modern art and artists, the Museum of Modern Art is home to some names that your students will surely recognize, including Dalí, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, and Kahlo.
More than 89,000 works of art are currently available online. See them here.
3. Natural History Museum (London, England)
There are many treasures to be found at London’s Natural History Museum, which houses over 70 million specimens. Some of the most recognizable and interesting include a first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, a mastodon, a 4.5 billion year old meteorite, a Diplodocus skeleton, and Archie the giant squid specimen.
You can check out these and many other fascinating exhibits here. Be sure to explore the many online activities the museum offers as well.
4. Musée du Louvre (Paris, France)
Any list of museums worth reading should include the Louvre. As we mentioned in our Paris Spotlight post, your students could spend days wandering the galleries of this museum. Since traveling to Paris is out of reach for a bit, get your kids hyped up by browsing the 7 galleries that the Louvre currently has available online.
5. J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, California)
Visiting the Getty Center is a “must do” activity for any student travel group visiting LA. The view alone is worth the time spent in traffic to get there. The Center, tucked into the hills of Los Angeles, is home to what was once the personal art collection of J. Paul Getty. Pieces include works by famous artists, Renoir and Van Gogh, as well as masterpieces by lesser known artists.
Check out the online galleries here.
6. University of Oxford, History of Science Museum (Oxford, England)
Oxford’s History of Science Museum houses a large and unique collection of scientific instruments. Some of the wonders found here date back to the Middle Ages. Others are more modern, including a blackboard used by Albert Einstein.
Explore the galleries of this museum here.
7. Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
The Hermitage is the second largest museum in the world, behind (you guessed it) the Louvre. With over 60,000 pieces of art on display, your group will have much to explore and see, including pieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Da Vinci.
Check out the Hermitage’s virtual tour here.
8. Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid, Spain)
The Prado is home to the largest collection of Spanish art, and one of the finest collections of European art, in the world. Works by Goya, Raphael, Titian, Velasquez are definite highlights.
Browse the collection here. And if you’re an early bird, the museum hosts goes live on Instagram every morning at 4EST.
9. Musée d’Orsay (Paris, France)
One of Paris’ other gems, the Musée d’Orsay is home to the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world. Student groups will recognize many of the pieces that are displayed here, including Monet’s Blue Water Lilies, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Degas’ Dancer series.
See the museum’s online gallery here.
10. Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Museum (Vatican City)
Last, but not least, the Sistine Chapel. Tucked into the vast Vatican complex, you’ll find one of the most iconic works of art in the world, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The chapel was painted the artist between 1508 and 1512.
Enjoy the chapel close up and from the comfort of your classroom by clicking here. The Vatican Museum also has other virtual tours available. Check those out here.