Monday, March 23, 2020

Yes, You Can Still Visit Museums, Even Now!

Monalisa, Mona Lisa, Corona, VirusMany, many people are stuck at home under either self-isolation or government mandated. I am not in either category because my school has said that we will be having professional development days beginning today until further notice.

We have to figure out how to keep students learning while they are off till May 1st which is about 6 weeks from now and almost to the end of the year.  I know many schools are under the same directives so many of you are at home with your children.  If you have sufficient bandwidth, you might want to use this time to help enrich your children's knowledge base.

Today, I'm going to share the names of several museums offering virtual tours so you can explore places you would never otherwise see.  I realize virtual is not the same as being there but it does offer opportunities for learning.

1.  The Louvre in Paris France.  This museum is known for the number of artworks the French people saved during World War II.  Since the Coronavirus has swept Europe, this is one of the museums offering virtual tours for everyone.  They offer a tour of the Egyptian Antiquities dating from the Pharaonic times.  There is also a virtual tour of the original moat of the Louvre.  The Louvre began as a fortress  in 1190 to help protect the city of Paris and you can see the original moat.  The final area is Galorie D'Apolleon whose ceiling has a painting of the Sun King or Louis XIV.

2. The Guggenheim Museum in New York City has an online collection of 625 artists 1700 works listed in a searchable database.  The museum has several collections one can access dating from the late 19th century to modern times.  In the information page, you can see which collections are found at the museums and examples of each collection so you can look at a specific artist.

3. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC is open virtually. You can check out the Degas (he drew the dancers in Paris), Raphael, and open air painting in Europe from 1780 to 1870.  In addition, there are collection highlights, online editions, family interactive activities, and teacher resources.

4.  The British Museum offers virtual tours via Google's Arts and Culture app while you can check out certain pieces of art online.  I put in Tudor into the search engine and got back sketches of people from that time and some bank notes but I got better results when I typed in Queen Elizabeth paintings.  You have to know what you want to find things but it is fun to explore.  This might be a place to look for certain artists.

5.  The National Museum of Natural History has quite a few virtual tours available to view. You can choose from permanent exhibits, current exhibits, past exhibits, and a few other tours.  These tours let you walk around the museum as if you were there but you don't have to leave your home.  If your kids like dinosaurs, check out the dinosaurs in the museum.

6. NASA offers two different tours, one for Langley in Virginia and the other explores the Glenn Research Center in Ohio.  If you saw the movie "Hidden Figures", you can explore the Katherine Johnson building named after the main character in the movie in Langley while there are 10 different virtual tours at Glenn center.  Have a great time exploring both, especially if you have someone into space.

7. The Vatican is also offering some great virtual tours including one of the Sistine Chapel. This site offers six different 360 degree tours of places like the Sistine Chapel, Raphaels rooms, Niccoline Chapel, the new wing and two other museums.  So much to explore, especially if you've never been there before.

There are so many more museums offering virtual tours and the ability to look at online collections during this time of crisis.  On Wednesday, I'll share some zoos that have opened virtually to everyone.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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