Coronavirus has NYC practically on lock down with closures of Broadway theaters, bars, restaurants and museums. While you can still get take out and even cocktails to go (hooray!), no one has quite figured out how to eat or drink digitally at your favorite restaurants. That’s not a problem for several of NYC’s major museums, however, that are all offering virtual tours through their collections and exhibitions—all for free and all from the comfort of your couch.
Available in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, the tours feature images from various collections and, in some cases, walkabouts through parts of the museum via street view. So if you’re getting tired of Netflix, and want to try something more culturally enriching, here are some of the online experiences you should definitely check out.
Some 200,770 objects covering 5,000 years of art history await you at The Met online, which lets you browse the entire collection, and visit online exhibits like, “The Art of Music through Time,” which includes audio of the curators weighing in on the historical instruments on display. There are also street view tours of various galleries at the Met and the Met Breuer.
Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, Paul Cézanne's Still Life with Apples and Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy are just some of the 129 modern masterpieces from the Museum of Modern Art that you'll find on Google Arts & Culture, along with online exhibits like one on the work of Dada pioneer Sophie Taeuber-Arp.
You can descend the ramps of the Guggenheim’s famed Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda, taking in the artwork as you go, thanks to this street-view tour that also jogs through the galleries of the Tannhauser Collection, which contains the museum's most significant offerings of Impressionism and Early Modern Art.
The Whitney has 60 of its core holdings in 20th-century art online, with pieces by greats such as Edward Hopper, Marsden Hartley and Joseph Stella.
Old Masters are the main attraction among the 201 online items, culled from the Frick’s collection. Works by Vermeer, Rembrandt and El Greco are just some of the treasures awaiting your perusal. Be sure to try out the street view tour of the Frick’s elegant rooms.
A visit to The Metropolitan Museum branch devoted to the Middle Ages is always inspirational, and still is in this online excursion through The Cloisters' magnificent building, which incorporates architectural elements from five medieval monasteries in France.
You can walk under the museum’s blue whale, press your nose against the glass of its iconic dioramas and behold the gargantuan dinosaur skeleton in its main hall in a virtual trip through this essential NYC institution. You’ll also find images and online exhibits of 2,160 items from AMNH’s collection.
Now check out more virtual tours of museums around the world.