Calling all culture vultures! Explore iconic institutions at home with virtual art exhibitions.
We’ve just entered Phase 1 of post-circuit breaker and it’ll take some time before we reach a new normal. No word yet on when museums and cultural spaces will reopen to the public though. But hey, you can still go on virtual tours of popular museums and marvel at renowned masterpieces without the constraining viewing distance. Thanks to technology, international and local museums are bringing their art experiences online. Get your much-needed dose of art right here with just a click of a button.
National Museum of Singapore
This national monument has been a mainstay in Singapore’s art scene since its official establishment in 1887. Missed out on the popular An Old New World exhibition? Fret not! It’s now available online for limitless viewing. Go back in time to the 17th century and rediscover Singapore behind the screen. Plus, get up close and personal with artefacts and interesting tidbits from the curators.
Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum is going all out to bring the museum experience to your home. Its SAM Virtual Curator Tour, with new episodes every Friday at 8pm, takes a stroll down memory lane by reexamining past exhibits such as Singapore Biennale 2016 and 2019. Want to enjoy an immersive experience? These artworks are also available on Google Arts and Culture. Psst: Don’t forget to check out the Stay Home Shorts series, which showcases local and international short films.
We sure miss marvelling at the lotus-shaped institution with our Singapore skyline as the backdrop. This has to be one of our faves: It has given us Egyptian mummies, majestic Lego sculptures and, most recently, the wonderful world of Disney! Thankfully, the fun has now moved online with ArtScience at Home. Tune in to virtual art exhibitions like Future World and 2219: Futures Imagines, along with a series of videos such as the ArtScience Late at Home (which features at-home performances by artists), DIY art classes and more!
National Gallery Singapore
Thanks to its new digital initiative, #GalleryAnywhere, you can get your art fix any time of the day. Browse virtual art exhibitions, check out DIY and commentary videos, and try your hand at an ink-teractive game where you can learn about different paint strokes and create your own art!
National Heritage Board
Miss gallivanting around the city’s fascinating cultural enclaves? Go on virtual heritage trails, journeying across Little India, Tampines and Balestier to unearth the hidden secrets of these seemingly familiar ‘hoods. The Heritage in Episode video series spotlights quintessential aspects of Singapore, including what makes a good nasi padang, an interview with a street barber and other curious stories of the Lion City’s past.
Rijksmuseum is Amsterdam’s crowning glory when it comes to the arts, showcasing an extensive collection of works by Dutch masters. Not to mention, it’s home to the famous painting, The Night Watch by Rembrandt. As part of a restoration effort, the museum has released a digital version of the painting in 44.8 gigapixels, allowing you to zoom in and marvel at nuanced details in the brushstrokes and pigments.
Next up: Explore the hallowed hallways of Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour through the guided tour, Masterpieces Up Close, to learn more about Rembrandt’s greatest works and other iconic paintings. You can also check out the #Rijksmuseumfromhome series on YouTube where curators share insights on their favourite artworks.
This LA-based museum has debuted a slew of digital initiatives to provide us with contemporary art behind the screen. One highlight? Its virtual art exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinite Mirrored Room. This time, you can explore the space without any time constraints. Working together with LA musicians, the experience draws you into the psychedelic world of the Japanese artist with instrumental rock and ambient music playing in the background.
Art enthusiasts can also look forward to the Up Close Curator Talks series that sheds light on artists featured in The Broad’s collections, and Interplay: Poetry and Art, which shows the bond between visual and literary art.
The British Museum
Steeped in history and culture, this museum has released more than a million images online that will excite any history buff. We’re talking about real-life mummies, the legendary Rosetta Stone and many more. Through Google Arts and Culture, you can learn interesting tidbits across 7,000 objects in the museum, with 45 in-depth stories on selected artworks.
Check out the museum’s interactive platform, History Connected, where you can explore the great wonders of history across different time periods, starting from 2000 AD. Plus, listen to introductions of various galleries by in-house curators or relive the cinematic masterpieces of Vikings: Life and Legend, as well as Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum on the YouTube channel.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this museum is praised for its iconic spiralling facade akin to a spinning top. Led by guides with the help of Zoom, its virtual tour explores the relationship between architecture and the feeling of hope by spotlighting iconic oculus designs – and of course, it includes the curved walkways of The Guggenheim. It doesn’t stop there; you can look forward to a deluge of online activities from talks to art classes.
J. Paul Getty Museum
Colloquially known as the Getty, this museum is famous for showcasing 19th and 20th century artworks through various mediums including paintings, sculptures and photographs from Europe, America and Asia. Take a deeper look at the cradle of civilisation with the Mesopotamia exhibition for a peek into how the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians lived, or join curator Julian Brooks as he takes you through the Michelangelo: Mind of the Master exhibition.
Oh, and its virtual art exhibitions are also live on Google Arts and Culture. Check out The Art of Three Faiths: Torah, Bible, Qur’an, where you can learn about scriptures from the Middle Ages. Or Director’s Choice: Getty Museum Acquisitions 2019, which lets you study ancient Greek, Etruscan and Roman gems from 1600 BC to 138 AD.