Culture lockdown: heritage

Stay engaged with the museums and heritage scene even during lockdown

Culture lockdown: heritage

Your eyes are square from Netflix and you’ve already exhausted your one exercise trip. What to do now? Look no further than the museums of the world for your entertainment. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of how you and your family can continue engaging with international art and culture, even from your lounge. 

Let’s get started...

Getty Museum challenge 

Okay, to get things kicked off, the Getty Museum in LA is inviting the world to get creative and engage with their archives.

Using household objects, we’ve all been challenged to recreate iconic paintings from home. This is a perfect home-education activity for the whole family. Think outside-the-box, use that stack of loo-rolls in your upstairs cabinet, and get educated in art history. 

You can see some of the fantastic entries here. Warning: cute puppy alert. 

Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture offers us the travel-from-home experience I’m sure we’re all yearning for by this point in lockdown. You can view this resource on a webpage or download the app to your smartphone to explore the plethora of exhibitions, views and information available. 

We suggest firstly guiding yourself through a 360° tour of a museum using Street View before delving into some online exhibitions. Travel internationally to the Taj Mahal and the Sphynx, or explore art movements and historic events. Basically, you can visit multiple world-class museums from your couch. Easy as. 

Virtual museum tours 

Whilst Google Arts & Culture is perfect for an overview of an exhibition, if you want to get deeper into the archives of a certain gallery, then delve into the best virtual museum tours the world has to offer. 

From New York to Italy and back to London, you can browse this run-down to see which museum tickles your fancy. I would recommend the Natural Science Museum and Solomon R. Guggenheim, especially if you’re into dinosaurs and quirky architecture.

The British Museum

Whilst many galleries across the world are opening their virtual doors to visitors, the resources available at the British Museum go beyond the expected. A concise rundown of their offer can be found here. You could  tune in to their podcast, or explore their galleries and collections online, or you could contentedly spend an hour or two browsing through their geeky-but-cool YouTube channel

iPlayer documentaries

Now you’ve created your masterpiece, toured the hallowed halls of an ancient institution and learnt about a momentous historic event, you probably want to sit back and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of an internationally renowned – and British – gallery!

BBC iPlayer’s Secrets of the Museum gives viewers the chance to experience what goes on backstage at the Victoria & Albert Museum. From restoring a Star Wars costume to Raphael paintings and Beyonce’s jewellery, this series mixes the contemporary with the old-fashioned in a way that appeals to the whole family. 

Be careful though – try not to binge all six episodes at once. 

A podcast for the evening

Now that you’ve explored multiple international museums, it’s time to put what you’ve seen into context. Grab a glass of wine and delve into the mysterious world of art history and antiquity. For those looking for a relaxed, entertaining and comedic podcast, head over to Art History Babes for your Renaissance fix. Alternatively, I find there’s nothing quite like a BBC Radio 4 podcast; the Museum of Lost Objects investigates intriguing art historic discoveries across the centuries. 

Get stuck in with the kids

Now that children run wild rather than being confined in classrooms, it’s time to reinvent history lessons. Fewer textbooks, war battles and monarchs, more interaction and intriguing stories. 

Using Khan Academy and Smart History, why not learn about art history for an afternoon? These online videos and courses are stock-full of information across all time periods. Learn about the Old Masters exhibited in the Rijks Museum (here’s your cue to head back to Google Arts and Culture) or contemporary artists at Tate Modern. 

From recreating paintings to virtually wandering through exhibition halls, there’s no reason to miss out on the best museums and heritage content from across the globe whilst we’re in lockdown. 

If you’ve engaged with a particular gallery or exhibition, why not let us know and leave a review on Voice? 

Find even more virtual museum tours here

Header Image Credit: Negative Space


Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Formerly Assistant Editor, Sienna now studies History of Art at the University of Cambridge and loves to write about the intersection of politics, history and visual art. Sienna is author of the Creative Education and Instaviews series.

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