Museums Online

The raging pandemic is forcing people to look for new ways to enjoy art – visiting online museums might be the one.

Museums Online

Museums are a bottomless storehouse of classical and contemporary art, a unique collection of historical relics and technical inventions, monuments and multimedia exhibitions. These treasures are now available remotely. And virtual excursions for everyone are conducted by guides. The raging pandemic is forcing people to look for new ways to enjoy art. However, for students self-education is a sacred duty. Virtual museums and online exhibitions are one way to continue expanding your horizons without risk of infection. But what are the pros and cons of this kind of cultural experience?

  • Advantage: A Broad Information Access

    Speaking of the advantages in favor of online exhibitions, the first one of these is the ease of finding the necessary information. Internet exhibitions selected on the subject collect under a virtual roof all goods and services represented by their real prototypes. Unlike before, the dimensionless virtual halls are opened to the public for free and can visit them any time. Online exhibitions are a suitable solution for students, giving them the opportunity to choose the time and method of visiting the exhibitions themselves.

  • Advantage: Useful for Exhibitions Holders

    This part is more useful for students that plan on tying their lives with working in museums, from faculties connected to culture. Much more important factors than viewing the exhibited products are information obtained from booklets and expert recommendations. When creating online exhibitions, the organizers have a unique opportunity to determine how many people visited each stand and which of them received the most attention. It allows the organizers not only to find out the name of the visitor, but also to find out what exactly interested him by looking at which sample he spent the most time with. In fact, organizers of virtual exhibitions now know exactly which consumer segment their clients belong to. And visitors, in turn, do not feel the sometimes annoying attention of the representatives of the companies serving the stands.

  • Advantage: Easier Navigation

    There are no restrictions on navigation around the stand and the exhibition as a whole. With the help of filters, it is easy to select the exhibitors of interest and instantly move to the desired stand. That is, guests do not need to waste time moving around the exhibition, as in the case of offline.

  • Advantage: No Limit on The Number of Visitors

    At a physical exhibition there are always both restrictions on the total capacity of space and on the number of visitors to a particular stand, determined by its area and configuration, but here the number of visitors is limited only by the features of the software and server capacity, which is easy to scale using cloud resources.

  • Disadvantage: Technical Faults

    However, with such obvious advantages, Internet displays are not without drawbacks, the most serious of which are the large amount of time it takes to view information and the need for sufficient processor power to download pictures. Often, the graphics of exhibition sites are too complex and require a lot of memory, which becomes an obstacle for users with outdated computers.

  • Disadvantage: Lack of Visitor Activity

    Relatively few visitors leave their contact information, despite the presence of unique conditions, special offers, and even the use of quests and other game mechanics for engagement. Visitors were also reluctant to ask questions to virtual avatars or start chatting in text or video chats. This can be explained by a general lack of understanding that behind the icons of chats and virtual avatars working at the stands, there are live employees who are ready for dialogue.

  • Disadvantage: No Atmosphere

    There is also no atmosphere of presence. A picture on a computer screen is perceived differently, so it is difficult to objectively assess it. It is advisable to professionally photograph the picture and correctly process the file in order to present it online as accurately as possible.

Popular museums that can already be visited online

The Tretyakov Gallery – Moscow, Russia

This virtual tour gives you the opportunity to visit one of the most famous Russian art museums in the world and see outstanding works of Russian artists using Google's Street View technology.

In addition, special virtual exhibitions can be found on the website of the State Tretyakov Gallery. These are full-fledged virtual excursions that reveal the work of Kuindzhi, Serov, Aivazovsky and other masters of Russian painting. The tour has an image zoom function that allows you to see the smallest details of the paintings and read the associated comments.

The Louvre – Paris, France

The Louvre is one of the oldest museums with a rich history of collecting artistic and historical relics in France, from the Capetian dynasty tibits include the finest works of art until the mid-nineteenth century, as well as exhibits from ancient civilizations.

The Louvre's official website offers two virtual tours, which allow you to get acquainted with the exhibits of Ancient Egypt and explore the history of the building from the 12th century to the present day.

The Sistine Chapel – Vatican

The Sistine Chapel is the most famous chapel in the world. Michelangelo's frescoes are second to none. This virtual tour offers two options: explore everything on your own, or use the autopilot feature to guide you through various points and provide commentary on each part of the chapel (in English). The visualization is commendable and the tour is very informative.

The Hermitage – St. Petersburg, Russia

The Hermitage is one of the ten most visited museums in the world, and this is not surprising – the museum's collection numbers over three million works of art and monuments of world culture, from the Stone Age to our century.

A large-scale virtual tour of the Hermitage allows you to get acquainted with a map of the three floors of the building, and either choose a specific exhibition hall you want to get to, or go through all the expositions in order. There are comments everywhere, and the image quality will be the envy of many similar projects.

Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands

This museum contains the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh (more than 200 canvases), as well as works by his contemporaries – Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet and others. You can send on a virtual tour of the museum with Google, or you can look at the official website of the museum, which contains the artist's masterpieces with commentary and explanatory videos, as well as stories about his life and work. And all this is in a bright and interesting design.

The Uffizzi Gallery – Florence, Italy

In the Uffizi Gallery, which is the most visited museum in Italy, there is a huge artistic heritage: thousands of paintings from medieval to modern, antique sculptures, miniatures, tapestries. It is here that you can see paintings by world-famous masters: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, and many others. The gallery contains original works, many of which are more than four centuries old. Together with the Google Arts and Culture project, you can go to the online Uffizi Gallery and enjoy part of the priceless collection.

And remember: Coronavirus is not an obstacle to educating yourself, but an opportunity. A truly gorgeous virtual tour can keep you busy for a day or even a few.

Text by
Luiza Gashimova