One of my favourite things to do when I travel is to check out the local museums and art galleries. When I’m unable to travel, I have a feeling like I’m missing out on something. Spending time on weekends or evenings to attend virtual museum exhibits makes me feel like I’m exploring a new place, I’m back in university studying art history (with no exams!) and like I’ve gotten a new outlook on the world and different cultures.
Why Spend The Time to Attend Virtual Museum Exhibits?
I, for one, hope the trend of having virtual collections and exhibits available for the public will continue. Even when it is easier to be able to visit institutions in person, there will be many reasons why people may choose to view exhibits online:
- Accessibility – perhaps the museum or collection isn’t set-up for wheelchairs, hearing impairment, etc.
- Illness or need to remain at home or in a care facility
- Physical distance – with exhibits available online, people can view things from across the country and around the world
- Cost – museums and galleries, when not free or by donation, can be too costly for people to visit as often as they’d like to.
- Time – online exhibits and resources allow people to “visit” anytime of day or night.
Virtual exhibits or digitized collections aren’t something new. VirtualMuseum.ca, founded in 2001, is The largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations. You can find exhibits here from both large and small museums across the country. What I like even more than virtually touring the museums, through a 360 degree virtual tour or otherwise, is attending seminars or lectures that allow me to learn and get more from the experience as a whole.
As one might take a guided tour through a museum or gallery in person, so too can you take a virtual tour. Many institutions offer seminars/lectures, guided virtual tours, and art history lessons online for free or for a small fee.
I’ve taken a few free (with donation option) virtual tours/lectures offered by the Washington D.C. History and Culture non-profit. Typically, they used to offer in-person tours to bring people together to experience the history and culture of Washington D.C. Since the beginning of the pandemic and into the future, they provide virtual versions of these tours. The added bonus is that they cover major museums and galleries in other cities, too.
You can take a look at Eventbrite for free or paid events. Use the filters to select a date, price, category, format, language. . .
Celebrate Diverse Cultures at Cultural Heritage Museums
I get it, when you travel somewhere on your bucket list you have a limited amount of time and prefer to check out the must-see museums and galleries over the smaller lesser-known ones. Those smaller museums typically house a more concentrated collection of items centred around a theme or culture.
By being able to view museum collections and exhibits online you can engage with material from a variety of institutions from the comfort of your home.
4 Cultural Heritage Museums to Check out in Canada
- Aga Khan Museum #MuseumWithoutWalls – the only Islamic Art Museum in Canada.
- The Jewish Museum and Archives of B.C.
- Japanese Canadian National Museum
- Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture
Museum from Home
Here are some more resources to check out to be able to #MuseumfromHome :
Large database powered by Google to find and be able to attend virtual museum exhibits: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/virtual-exhibits/type/virtual-exhibits/
Here is a list of online resources from Canada’s museums: https://www.museums.ca/site/aboutthecma/services/museumsathome