Many of the UK’s leading museums and galleries are offering virtual tours, videos and alternative ways to get your culture fix without leaving the house. So get ready for detailed viewing and brow-raising as you museum and gallery hop with a handful of the very best London has to offer…
Andy Warhol – Marylin Dipytch 1962 © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London.
Known for pushing the boundaries of art and film in a time where the world was rapidly changing, Andy Warhol has got to be one of the most famous artists of our time and his work is currently displayed at Tate Modern.
Although the Tate Modern gallery is currently closed, you can take an exhibition tour with expert curators Gregor Miur and Fiontán Moran as they discuss Warhol from being an immigrant, to his identity and concerns with both death and religion. This is the first Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern for almost 20 years and showcases iconic pop images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and other works never before seen in the UK.
Andy Warhol – Self Portrait 1986 © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London.
Discover what each room features and learn about not only Warhol’s iconic pieces of artworks but the stories behind them as never explored before. The exhibition features multiple rooms that include themes Warhol explored with both print, camera and film to build a fascinating picture on the incredibly talented artist. Free as a bee to view online you can take the tour and discover more here.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
The Great Court © Trustees of the British Museum
A bank of knowledge from all eras of history, The British Museum offers a virtual tour for most of the site which is covered by Google Streetview. As well as being able to roam most of the museum (which is stunning in its own right) you can thoroughly browse many of the rooms and displays completely uninterrupted. Why not explore the British Museum’s VR project for African rock art (which children both big a small will love) and many more collections which you can discover for yourself here.
The British Museum – © Trustees of the British Museum
A museum highlight (due to the level of detail involved) is the Waddesdon Bequest which is well worth a browse. This is a sublime collection of almost 300 objects left to the British Museum in 1898 by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, the Waddesdon Bequest consists of important and intricate medieval and Renaissance pieces (as well as a number of 19th-century fakes). Amazingly you can select each individual piece, get a scale for size and read detailed curatorial notes as well as zooming right in for a closer look! If you are more interested in prints and drawings then you’ll be able to take a virtual tour of these too. You can study the rooms or explore the current exhibitions here.
The Renaissance City – Alan Williamson Photography, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
The V&A offers a wide variety of ways to learn about and engage with their collections online. One of the world’s leading museums of art and design the V&A houses an impressive compilation of no less than 2.3 million objects (give or take a few) and spans the last 5,000 years of human history. With that in mind, we all now have one of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, fashion, photography, painting, jewellery, books, theatre and performance (to name just a few) right at our fingertips.
Raphael Cartoon, The Sacrifice at Lystra (Acts 14: 8-18),by Raphael, 1515 –16, Italy. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019Photograph: Victoria & Albert Museum, London
A few of the current collection highlights that are top of our list have to be The Raphael Cartoons and Alice: Curious and Curiouser. If you aren’t familiar with the Raphael Cartoons they are a collection of seven full-scale designs painted for tapestry by Raphael (1483-1520), that were commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X for the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel and are considered one of the greatest treasures of the Renaissance.
Photograph of the ‘real’ Alice Liddell, by Julia Margaret Cameron, ‘Pomona’, albumen print, 1872 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Delve into the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Alice In Wonderland that span back 157 years. Not entirely conjured from Lewis Carroll’s imagination, it might surprise you to know Alice was based on a real little girl name Alice Liddell who had a brunette bob and a short fringe. Learn more here.
THE WALLACE COLLECTION
The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is a museum that displays exquisite works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace. Sir Richard Wallace was the son of the 4th Marquess and the collection was bequeathed to the British Nation by Sir Richard’s widow, Lady Wallace in 1897. The Wallace collection is now a true national treasure that prides itself on its conservation work as well as being a place of constant learning.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 – 1806), Les hasards heureux de l’escarpolette (The Swing), France, c. 1767 – 1768 (c) The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection offers keen learners a glimpse of the impressive collection, with stunning masterpieces such as the Les Hasards Heureux De L’escarpolette (the swing) by Jean-Honoré Fragonard – pictured above. One of the most emblematic images of 18th century French art, it’s a definite highlight. To discover more inspiring pieces you can browse the collection highlights here, or you can also learn about the history of the collection via a video with Dr. Xavier Bray here.
Lead Image: V&A Museum – ‘Kaidan’ ( staircase) by Kobayakawa Kiyoshi (1899-1948), hanging scroll, ink and colours on paper