Passing the Time with Online Art Galleries


View the Mona Lisa like never before through the Louvre’s immersive online experience.

Emma Schleck

For art and culture lovers, this pandemic has struck a major blow. The inability to go see exhibitions has left a hole in many people’s lives. Fortunately, for all of those who are missing walking through galleries, these online art exhibitions may help. Many art museums have exhibits and information about pieces housed in the museum available for view online, and now is the best time to take advantage of these resources. 

Currently offering 24 different online exhibitions, London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery is a wonderful experience for people looking to view the weird and the wonderful. Personal favorites include Women Artists After Empire and the wacky and mature Bodily Objects. 

One feature of Google that many people may not know about is Google Arts and Culture. For all ages, this collection of activities and exhibitions are fun and not limited to just art. Whether zooming in close to Van Gogh works, exploring a digital gallery of Vermeer’s works, or snapping a photo to find one’s portrait look-a-like, there’s so much fun to be had. 

M WOODS, a Chinese museum of art, has brought a fascinating concept collection to the online exhibit sphere. Beginning February 13, the experimental online exhibition of moments and happenings, with contributions of artworks, videos, photographs, words, poems, instructions and thoughts by artists and thinkers around the theme of ecology, nature, extinction, isolation and kinship, will unfold over a period of several weeks. Different galleries of the museum will open virtually, with accompanying artworks presented online through the museum’s online platforms, including Instagram and Facebook. This is certainly something to look forward to!

Located in Paris, the Centre Pompidou offers many collections online to view from the comfort of bed. Organized by medium, one can find drawings, photographs, architectural designs, film and media, and more of the museum’s content online. The museum offers photos, videos, and analysis in a curated collection of Masterpieces, iconic works of modern and contemporary art selected from the Pompidou’s 120,000 work collection (the largest in Europe!) 

Holding its position as one of America’s most iconic art museums, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art offers more than 90,000 online works for viewing as well as in-depth artist profiles. Searchable by both artist and work name, one can choose an in-depth look at their favorite artists and works, or scroll through and discover something completely new.

New York City’s other big player, the Met, offers Art at Home, a multi-faceted online section of their website where one can read stories and learn the inspirations of artists in action, find at-home art projects for the whole family, or view the art in all its glory. Art at Home also offers 360° videos of the Met’s most iconic spaces, over 50 years of free Met publications, and astounding works of art in MetCollects. 

Located in Paris, France, and serving as one of the most famous art museums in the world, the Louvre offers close-up looks at famous works of art, as well as the virtual reality experience, Mona Lisa: Behind the Glass, an astounding view of the Mona Lisa and her story. The Louvre also offers Artwork of the Day from the collection, along with analysis and explanation of the piece. For those wanting to learn more about the background of pieces, this option is great.

Differing from others on this list, Connecticut’s own Florence Griswold museum offers both online and in-person viewings of art pieces. Multiple online exhibitions and collections are available to view, including a virtual tour of the museum and the special exhibition “Nothing More American,” a bold look at immigration, sanctuary, and community, as well as the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection, featuring various paintings and sculptures from artists who lived and worked in Connecticut from the late Colonial period to the early 20th century.

For those wanting to experience the museum in person, tickets can be purchased online, 24 hours in advance.