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A man and a woman looking at paintings in the NGV's salon room
Photograph: Supplied

You can now take virtual tours of the NGV’s Kaws and Keith Haring exhibitions

Nicola Dowse

Due to COVID-19, staying in is really having a moment. To help contain the spread of the virus, most of Melbourne’s cultural institutions have now closed, including the National Gallery of Victoria. 

But thanks to the magic of the internet, we can inform you dear reader that you can still engage with the NGV virtually from the comfort of your home.

The NGV announced today that virtual tours, ebooks, online galleries and children’s activities will soon be available online, in addition to the gallery’s already hefty online collection (it features 75,000 works, 90 per cent of which are available online).

Visitors who missed out on seeing Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness (an exhibition title which feels way too real now) are in luck, with the gallery announcing both exhibitions will be available as online tours. The free virtual tours are led by a curator, giving both those who have and haven’t seen the exhibitions a new insight to them. 

Keith Haring's crib
Installation view of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines at NGV International, 1 December 219 – 11 April 2020 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York © Keith Haring Foundation
Photograph: Tom Ross

Both tours (and more) can be viewed via NGV Channel. The Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness virtual tour is available on March 21, and the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines tour available on March 28.

Bookworms can engage with ebooks and curatorial essays, including an ebook from recent exhibition Collecting Comme and the NGV’s bi-monthly magazine. The NGV app also features audio tours for the audibly-inclined, which are run by artists and curators.

The NGV also has children’s activities you can download to keep restless kids appeased.

And let’s not forget you can still browse the NGV’s massive online collection, which includes some of our favourite artworks like ‘Anguish’ by August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck (i.e. the giant sad sheep), ‘Medieval Gathering’ by Mirka Mora and ‘Weeping Woman’ by Pablo Picasso (which was infamously stolen and held hostage in 1986).

The NGV International and Ian Potter Centre (NGV Australia) are closed.

Say no to refunds the case for refusing ticket refunds when events are cancelled by COVID-19.

Readings bookstores are now offering free delivery around Melbourne.

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