Museums in the Times of the Corona

With so many museums already closed courtesy of COVID-19, and many more about to close in the coming days, many of them are working hard to make sure their art remains available, and their collections open. Some are offering virtual tours, others – adding to their collections already available online, others still – offering online courses on history of art. So my good friend and colleague Michael Peregudov and I thought we’d compile a short list (though who are we kidding, it could never be too short), to keep you busy and inspired, and to try and make this confinement just that little bit easier on everyone.

So, once again, explore, enjoy, and #uncrownthevirus.





The Once In A Lifetime Bruegel exhibition website is also still online:

MUMOK (contemporary art)



The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium would like to assure everyone that their doors remain “digitally open”, and much of the collection is available on-line.

In part, this is all thanks to their Digital Museum, a project that was created with the digitization of the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, and helps provide public online access to the collections via, for example, the Fabritius catalogue:

Musée Magritte

A very social distancing appropriate Magritte painting.

For collection in detail please use the link below:

Or, once again, the Fabritius catalogus:

MIM The Museum of Musical Instruments

The museum’s collection is accessible online via Carmentis, the catalogue of the Royal Museums of Art and History. If you only want to consult Carmentis’ mim catalogue, go to the heading “Extended search” and select “Musical instruments collection” in the “Collection” menu:

MIMO Musical Instruments Museum Online

Another related link is for MIMO, or Musical Instrument Museums Online, a platform that provides online access to the collections of eleven of Europe’s musical instruments museums, including the MIM. For the MIM, MIMO draws on Carmentis.

MIMO currently provides information about some 45,000 musical instruments in seven European languages. MIMO allows you to listen to sound recordings of some 50 MIM objects.


The Van Eyck Exhibition


Design Museum



Staten Museum for Kunst

While the museum is closed, an impressive collection of its art in detail is available online, together with explanatory texts, images and 3D scans:



The Bayeux Tapestry

Good writing available on the website together with some photos:

And a video to go with. Make that two:


Although not much of the museum’s collection is available online, The famous Altarpiece of Issenheim is, and that in itself is a rare treat:


Musée des Tissus already has some of its collection available online, but is planning to publish even more materials shortly, since the museum is now closed for regular visits.


Le Louvre

The museum has also made available several tours of La Petite Gallerie and select exhibitions, like this one, for example:

Musée d’Orsay

Centre Pompidou


Even if you can’t make it to Paris this spring, you can still enjoy the incredible stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle thanks to the video available on their website:

You can also take a sneak peak inside while you’re at it (via Google Arts & Culture):

And the Paris Musées website has more than 50 000 reproductions for you to feast on, as well as several thematic blocks, such as “Paris in the 1900s”, “Portraits”, “Fashion in Sports” etc.


Musée de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame

Sadly, not the entire collection, not even close, but here you can at least see some of the most treasured chefs-d’oeuvres in the museum’s collection:




Video commentary now available about some paintings from the collection


Let’s start with a link to a huge object database from various museums across Germany. But you have to read German to navigate there.


GDR Museum

Its Objects Database (Simply awesome, one can spent hours digging there.)

Museum Island (via Google Arts & Culture)

Alte Nationalgalerie (via Google Arts & Culture)

Berlin State Museums (SMB) Online Collections Database

Berlinische Galerie

German Historical Museum (DHM)

Checkpoint Charlie (Berlin Wall)


Mathildenhöhe (Art Nouveau)

Hessisches Landesmuseum


Staatliche Kunstsammlungen (Old & New Masters, Albertinum is also there)



Schirn Kunsthalle (limited to Fantastic Women exhibition)


Kunstmuseum Moritzburg



Pinakotheken (all three of them)



Zwickau (That’s the town, where they used to produce Trabant cars in the GDR.)

Kunstsammlungen Zwickau (limited to the exhibition about Saxony’s industrial heritage in art)



National Archaeological Museum



The Museum of Fine Arts (via Google Arts & Culture)

Holy See

Musei Vaticani

Including a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, and since you’re not allowed to take photos when you visit anyway, we thought that would definitely be a highlight:




Le Gallerie degli Uffizi


Pinacoteca di Brera


Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio

Maybe this isn’t ideal, but if you can’t go to Rome, this is probably the next best thing, and you can still see that amazing ceiling:

And several virtual tours of other sights and museums are available here:

The Netherlands



Even though the museum is temporarily closed you can still enjoy the collection! Just visit Rijksstudio to view over 700,000 works of art, and follow the museum on social media for a virtual tour of the Rijksmuseum, or even a painting tutorial.

They also have a “10 Things you may not know…” section on their website, that tells you interesting and carefully curated facts about different works of art, masters, and even entire movements, be it Early Baroque, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, or Petronella’s dolls’ house.

The Van Gogh Museum

The Hague




The National Museum (via Google Arts & Culture)


While they don’t exactly offer virtual tours, both the MNAA (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga) and Museu Berardo have some of the highlights of their collections available online:



Tretyakov Gallery

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Russian Impressionism (You have to read Russian, on the other other hand you’ll land straight on the page with the paintings, if you go to the link. The rest is more or less self-explanatory.)

Saint Petersburg

The Hermitage

Russian Museum

The Kunstkamera Museum offers both virtual tours and online access to its collections:

Naval Museum

And if you miss the city itself or feel in need of some inspiration for your next visit, which we hope will happen before it’s too long, here’s a beautiful time-lapse video, featuring Tosca, the famous White Night, and all the main sights.



Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya has at least a dozen virtual tours available on their website:

You can also take a virtual tour of the Sagrada Familia:


While it’s closed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is also offering several tours and exhibitions online:


Fundació Gala – Salvador Dalí

You can now take a virtual tour of the Salvador Dali Theatre-Museum:


Museo del Prado

The Prado Museum is also offering several new courses on history of art, like these new

MOOCs on Bosch and Velasquez:

El Bosco en el Museo del Prado

Velázquez en el Museo del Prado

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza


Museo Picasso Málaga

Their website offers a selection of art works by Pablo Picasso, presented as a chronological tour of the museum’s New Collection.

You can also enjoy access to the Otero Photographic Archive





MAH Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Genève

Musée Patek Philippe

Pure joy, especially the rare handcrafts section and the hummingbirds:

See what we’re talking about…




The British Museum

The Tate has quite a few of its artworks published online

Same goes for the Royal Academy of Arts…

… and the National Gallery, that also offers virtual tours online, allowing its visitors to immerse themselves in Renaissance masterpieces from Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany, including works by Titian, Veronese, and Holbein:



The Art Institute of Chicago (via Google Arts & Culture)

Culver City, CA

Wende Museum (If you are into history of the GDR, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, they have a significant object database as well.)

New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

You should also check out the Met 360° Project

MOMA The Museum of Modern Art (via Google Arts & Culture)

Currently also features the Sophie Taeuber-Arp Exhibition

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art

The Smithsonian

Some of the museums, like the National Air and Space Museum, have published collection samplers:

We realize that this is a very Europe-centred list, and we know we’re missing a few continents, but we thought it would be a good place to start. And, if you have more links, please share them as well. It would be wonderful to see this thing grow.

And, if these links aren’t enough, just remember that Google’s Arts & Culture project, which began in 2011, allows internet users to explore the collections of 1,200 museums and archives around the world:


Tatiana & Michael

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