Let’s Get Artsy
Travel through time and place by exploring art galleries around the world for free!
One of the toughest parts about social distancing may be that you truly don’t get a change of scenery. And at Girl Up, we get it: spending a prolonged amount of time at home is well…different. So you’ll just have to trust us when we say we know the perfect solution for you! We’ve rounded up a list of online experiences and exhibits that let you and your Club take a virtual field trip together, exploring the intersection of art, culture, and social progress – all without even leaving your couch!
Johannesburg Art Gallery: Johannesburg
Browse more than 500 works from Africa’s largest art gallery.
Girl Up’s suggestion: The museum houses plenty of works form Dutch and other European artists, but it also offers an array of works from South African female artists. For a more historical angle, browse their online exhibit about the role of photography and resistance in the era of Apartheid.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo: São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Take a virtual tour of the Art from Brazil exhibit to experience the wondrous display for yourself.
Musée d’Orsay: Paris
Take in 278 masterpieces here.
Girl Up’s suggestions: Vincent Van Gogh’s self portrait, and Éduoard Manet’s legendary nude, “Olympia.” Don’t worry about clicking aimlessly, all the pieces have extensive descriptions and notations.
National Gallery of Art: Washington, D.C.
View online exhibits and more than 42,000 works here.
Girl Up’s suggestion: A selection of fashion watercolors from the Index of American Design.
National Portrait Gallery: Washington, D.C.
The intimate nature of portraiture makes this museum a particularly great option for a home browse.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Now’s the time to take a closer look at the Michelle Obama portrait everyone raves about.
Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, so you can feel as if you’re actually wandering its halls.
Uffizi Gallery: Florence, Italy
Take a virtual walk through Florence’s artistic gem before stopping to admire some of the museum’s most famous inhabitants.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” of course. But also, in the tour, don’t forget to drag the screen and look up at the beautiful frescoes on the ceiling, painted by Alessandro Allori.
It’s All About Culture
Check out these global landmarks without leaving your couch!
The Great Wall of China: China
China’s most famous attraction offers virtual tours of some of the most visited sections of the wall, 3,000 miles of which are walkable.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Experience the 2,000-year-old marvel on your phone or tablet while walking on the treadmill!
Palace of Versailles: Versailles, France
Explore one of France’s national treasures and all of the Baroque art, architecture and finery within.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Go outside of the palace interior for an early birds-eye-view of the grounds, to get your bearings.
The Prambanan Temple: Yogyakarta, Indonesia
There’s so much to behold in this iconic, intricate Hindu temple complex. Good thing you’re in no rush!
Girl Up’s suggestion: Step up to the spires with the arrow marks, and drag your cursor to get a good look at the carvings.
The Sistine Chapel: Vatican City
There are a lot of museum collections to explore on the Vatican’s virtual site.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Go straight to zooming in on all of the detail on the Sistine Chapel.
Yosemite National Park
While parts of the park are still open for the season, those who can’t make it to California’s Sierra Nevada region can still tour the park — complete with sound!
Girl Up’s suggestions: Visit some of Yosemite’s iconic landmarks, including the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the top of the Half Dome and the eponymous Yosemite Falls.
A Night (or Day) at the Museum
Always wanted to visit museums abroad but never had the time? Check out these free museum tours from Europe to Asia.
British Museum: London
Explore a stunning visual timeline of the world, with an array of annotated objects.
Girl Up’s suggestion: This timeline pairs nicely with “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” a podcast narrated by the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor. (If your ears are craving more, here are some more culture podcasts to enjoy).
African American History and Culture: Washington, D.C.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit an extremely popular museum but couldn’t seem to nab tickets, a virtual tour is the next best thing!
Girl Up’s suggestion: this one gives you just a taste of what the museum has to offer, and where in the museum each feature is located.
National Museum of Anthropology: Mexico City
Built in 1964, this museum is dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage.
Girl Up’s suggestion: There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: Seoul
One of Korea’s popular museums can be accessed from anywhere around the world.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Take the virtual tour and explore six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Washington, D.C.
Dinosaurs! Snakes in jars! Giant diamonds! This is the perfect option to watch with younger siblings!
Girl Up’s suggestion: The Ocean Hall, The Hall of Mammals, and the Hall of Fossils. Or, mix it up with minerals.
Pergamon Museum: Berlin
As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there.
Girl Up’s suggestion: this historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.
Russia’s State Hermitage Museum: St. Petersburg, Russia
Got five hours to kill? Enjoy this extensive video tour of the largest museum in Russia, complete with 45 galleries and 588 artistic masterpieces.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Go to 02:06:02 to see Rembrandt like never before!
Let’s Get Virtual
All the experiences you didn’t know you wanted: from hypnotic artwork to penguins at the zoo.
Banksy Murals around the World
Go on an artistic treasure hunt — without the hunt part.
Girl Up’s suggestion: With something like street art, it’s much more interesting to see the work it its full context, than just through a close-up. Truly focus on the big picture for the best experience.
The Cincinnati Zoo: Cincinnati
Every day while school is out, the Cincinnati Zoo (home of the famous Fiona the hippo), will be hosting a Home Safari on their Facebook Live Feed at 3 p.m. ET.
Girl Up’s suggestion: They’ll have up-close animal experiences, plus activities to do at home.
The Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta
The Georgia Aquarium has live streams, too! And you can pick what animal you want to watch. We’re partial to the African Penguins.
Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors
If you missed one of the hottest traveling museum exhibits of the past few years, ooh and ahh at a brisk room-by-room rundown of the hypnotic, multi-faceted work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
The San Diego Zoo: San Diego
Want to have something fun going on in the background while you’re working? Check out the animals at the San Diego Zoo.
The Shedd Aquarium: Chicago, Illinois
The Shedd Aquarium has already captured hearts with the antics of its resident penguins, which have been filmed roaming the now-empty halls of the aquarium, looking at all of the other exhibits.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Animal lovers will want to follow their Facebook page, too: They’re sharing all kinds of behind-the-scenes videos and fun virtual experiences.
Van Gogh’s Starry Night at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
These close-up looks at famous paintings are so intense, you may think a docent will start yelling at you.
Girl Up’s suggestion: Follow the blue and yellow undulating brush strokes of “Starry Night” with Maggie Rogers, who finds inspiration in the “psychedelic” scene as well as exposed pieces of canvas that Van Gogh chose not to paint. These gaps in the oil are easy to miss with the naked eye, but can be seen in surprising detail with Art Camera.
Turn the Music Up!
Experience a live concert from the speakers of your computer!
With a special limited-time code, you can enjoy a treasury of online performances from one of the best orchestras in the world. Our suggestion: You can’t go wrong with anything from the trifecta of national B’s: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. But Gustav Mahler’s second symphony, The Resurrection Symphony, seems apt in these trying time.
The Vancouver Symphony live streamed its final performance from their BeethovenFest, and it’s available for your viewing — and listening — pleasure any time.
Ballets, Plays, and Operas, Oh My
Grab your ticket and put on your sweats for the best seat in the house!
Did you know you can stream Broadway shows through Amazon, iTunes, YouTube and other streaming services? You can also check out BroadwayHD, a special streaming service that brings you the greatest from the Great White Way. It’s $8.99 a month, but there’s a one-month free trial.
Royal Opera House: London
When it comes to high culture, don’t underestimate YouTube! The Royal Opera House’s channel has a selection of some of the top performances from famous operas and ballets, just a click away.
Girl Up’s suggestions: The Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, if just for the incredible costumes.
Vienna State Opera
If you can’t be in Vienna, you can at least treat yourself to full streams of some of the Vienna State Opera’s latest performances. A reminder, for people who don’t like opera: These works are almost always as much a treat for the eyes as much as the ears.
Metropolitan Opera: New York City
Arts lovers, if appointment viewing is more your thing, the Met is putting on nightly opera streams. But you better not be late! They’re only available until 3:30 p.m. ET the next day.
The Social Distancing Festival
Want more live streamed arts? A theater artist has created The Social Distancing Festival, which gathers live streams and videos of all different types of performances in one place, on one calendar.