Saturday, June 06, 2020

The National Gallery of Art in 3D

I have really missed visiting art galleries and museums during the lock-down. The National Gallery of Art, like nearly every other museum and gallery in the world, is currently closed to visitors. However that doesn't mean that you can't still visit the gallery virtually.

During the National Gallery of Art's temporary closure you can still explore some of the gallery's collections and exhibitions of paintings by visiting its virtual exhibitions. Currently the gallery has three virtual exhibitions: Degas at the OpĂ©ra Virtual Tour, True to Nature Virtual Tour (European landscapes of the 18th & 19th Centuries) and Raphael and His Circle Virtual Tour.

The three virtual tours have been designed to be viewed in Virtual Reality but if you don't have a virtual reality headset you can still explore the tours on a desktop computer or tablet. While exploring any of the 3D exhibitions you can navigate around by clicking on the circles dotted around the floor of each gallery. Click on the yellow circles (on the walls) to view the name and details of individual paintings. If you click on a red circle you can listen to an audio tour guide to the painting. The green circles allow you to read the gallery wall panel text.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also has a number of virtual exhibitions which you can explore from the comfort of your home. The Met 360° Project is a series of six 360° movies which allow you to explore the museum and some of its galleries. The videos include tours of the Great Hall, the Met Cloisters and the Charles Engelhard Court. As each video plays you can pan around 360°, just like you can in Google Maps Street View.

You might also enjoy these other virtual museum tours:

The National Gallery - London's National Gallery has a number of virtual tours & can also be explored using Google Maps Street View
The Rijksmuseum Masterpieces Up Close - a virtual tour of the museum's Gallery of Honour
The Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour - explore the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's astonishing ceiling
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Museum - has created a number of virtual tours
The Stonehenge Virtual Tour - places you in the center of this mysterious pre-historic monument
Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles can be explored in this Google Arts and Culture tour

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