With the increased measures implemented by the government to alleviate the Covid-19 outbreak, life as we know it has changed. We know it’s been tough to miss out on going to your favourite museums and galleries. That concert you were looking forward to? Possibly cancelled now. But there is always a silver lining: Many museums, orchestras and theatres are putting on free performances and tours online to tide us through the tough times. This week, we bring to you the best things you can do — all from the comfort of your own home.
Google Arts & Culture
There is no need to give up on culture and your appreciation for history just because you’re stuck at home or keeping up social distancing. Long before the outbreak hit, Google’s Art and Culture teamed up with hundreds of museums around the world to give audiences a peek inside famous collections, including:
The British Museum, London
The British Museum in London boasts a remarkable collection that spans over two million years of human history and culture; with over 6 million visitors each year flocking to see world-famous objects — such as the Rosetta Stone, the Greek Parthenon sculptures and Egyptian mummies.
Uffizi Gallery, Italy
Explore some of the greatest works of the Renaissance era at the iconic Uffizi gallery like the masterpieces of the baroque era and even the infamous Botticelli masterpiece, The Birth of Venus. This gallery, which traces its beginnings to the 1500s, was designed initially to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany but over time, it became also an exhibition of the dynastic collection of ancient sculpture, artwork and artifacts.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), New York
Founded in 1870, the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City —The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Explore its fascinating collection of art (including Dutch masters like Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer) as well as its priceless collection of fashion history from great fashion designers and houses like Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York
Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (pictured) — regarded as one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture — has been in the permanent collection at the MoMA since 1941. More than that, MoMA’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints and much more.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Now, you no longer need to play with chance to get an entrance into this museum, which houses the largest collection of paintings from Vincent Van Gogh (who is among the most influential figures in the history of Western art). The usually soldout tickets to this museum are justified, as here you will experience Van Gogh’s most famous paintings — from his sunflowers to his self portraits.
Home to the foremost artworks of the Dutch golden age, the Rijksmuseum — the most visited museum in the Netherlands — has over 250 rooms in which to explore, and you no longer need to take a long flight to get there. The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of but it perhaps best known for being the home of Rembrandt van Rijn’s 1642 masterpiece commonly known as De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch, pictured above), a massive painting measuring 4.37 x 3.63 metres. What makes this piece unusual — apart from its size and dramatic use of light and shadow — is Rembrandt’s depiction of militiamen not sitting but ready for action.
Every night, New York City’s the Metropolitan Opera streams its best shows online for free, all over the world. Expect a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers. The programme changes daily so check the website for details.
Royal Shakespeare Company and more
Not to be outdone, London’s West End theatre productions are also available to view online. With hundreds of dance, opera and theatre performances from around the world, Marquee TV has everything you need to enjoy culture from the comfort of your home. You can now sign up for 30 days of on-demand arts and culture completely free. Catch classics such as Anthony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, Richard II (pictured, starring British actor David Tennant in the lead role) and more.