Stuck at Home? Try These 8 Inspiring and Interactive Virtual Museum Tours
Need a change of scenery? Mix things up and explore new ideas, works of art, and creations with a virtual museum tour. In light of the pandemic, more and more museums are providing access to their past and current collections. Virtual tours offer a safe, fun, and interesting way to learn a topic while also discovering a new place. Educators can even find curated resources to support instruction and generate conversation in the classroom. You’re sure to find something that will intrigue you in the list below.
The National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall
This museum is devoted to the culture of all indigenous peoples in the Americas and opened in 2004. Located in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is part of the Smithsonian Institute. It was designed in collaboration with American Indian tribes and communities, as reflected in its landscaping and architecture.
While the museum is currently closed to the public, there are still plenty of virtual ways to explore its expansive catalog of exhibitions. In particular, the Native Knowledge 360° education initiative offers content on pertinent topics such as Women’s History Month, sustainable native foods, and American Indian responses to environmental changes.
Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is synonymous with the phrase “world-class museum.” As the largest museum in the United States, the Met presents over 5,000 forms of art to around 6.5 million visitors each year. The museum has reopened, but you can still take advantage of its virtual offerings. The Met 360° Project provides six videos with spherical 360° technology for an immersive, engaging experience. Visitors can explore the museum from all angles including a birds-eye view.
Next up, we have the world’s largest museum: the Louvre. Over 652,000 square feet are dedicated to more than 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art. Perhaps the most famous of all is Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. Learn the incredible story behind the portrait painting in the Louvre’s first virtual reality (VR) experience, “Mona Lisa Behind the Glass.”
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Head to Los Angeles and you’ll find the J. Paul Getty Museum, also known as the Getty. The Getty houses pre-20th century paintings, manuscripts, photographs, sculptures, and more. There are many virtual tours available on the museum’s website. One of the most interesting offerings is Pandora, a retelling of the classic myth in modern times made in partnership with TheaterWorks Silicon Valley.
American Folk Art Museum
The American Folk Art Museum showcases often-looked-over works of art created by self-taught artists. Everything from textiles to furniture is included in the museum’s exhibitions. You can explore photographs and supplemental content related to past and current American Folk Art displays. The current interactive tour features the Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection.
National Museum of Natural History
Ready to explore the natural world? Discover how mummies were created by ancient Egyptians (and why), learn how plants and butterflies develop in response to one another and research the global influence of Africa all through the National Museum of Natural History. New visitors may want to start with the tours of permanent collections. Educators can access a wealth of teaching resources to support the exploration of science, sociology, and history topics more in-depth.
The National Civil Rights Museum
Learn the history behind the movement through the voices of civil rights leaders and activists. The National Civil Rights Museum guides visitors through five decades of history, from the beginning of resistance in times of slavery to demonstrations for equality in the late 20th century. Young visitors are sure to enjoy a reading of “My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart,” by Angela Farris Watkins. This story helps children understand the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a civil rights leader, father, friend, and person.
The United States Botanic Garden
The United States Botanic Garden describes itself as a museum with a living collection. No visit to the Garden is ever exactly the same as something new is always in bloom. You can enjoy the beauty of the flora and fauna from home with a virtual 360° tour of the outdoor gardens and conservatory.
Educators can collaborate with students while exploring these tours by using a Vibe interactive whiteboard. With its simple set-up and interactive interface, you can easily work through problems and ideas with your students across digital lines.
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