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Karishma Gulyani

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A Guide To Virtual Art & Culture Tours for Socially Distanced Art Lovers

Experience the most priceless works of art from your home.

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The Louvre, Paris | Image: cntraveller.com

With the growing number of Coronavirus positive cases, many countries and territories are under lockdown, thereby disrupting the daily lives of people across the globe. While we all are lucky enough to be spending our quarantine days on that living room sofa, sometimes it can be a little hard to keep the creativity-craving souls satiated. And since all you need is an internet connection to escape into the virtual world of art, here is a selection of the best art and culture escapades that you can experience from the comfort of your living rooms.

  • Well, yes! Your first stop to get your museum fix is Google Arts & Culture app which now has digital documentation of more than 1200 museums and cultural institutions. While the art category includes many globally renowned institutions such as New York’s The MET, MoMA and Guggenheim, Musee d’Orsay (Paris), Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), and Tate Modern (London), you can even choose to explore many heritage sites like Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Eiffel Tower, and Colosseum. From the National Folk Museum of Korea (Seoul) to J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles) via Uffizi Galleries (Florence) – you can still travel the world by simply walking through these world-famous destinations with Street View feature. And in some cases, you can even experience sites that are essentially just reserved for archaeologists such as Chauvet Caves in the south of France. Among the Indian museums, you’ll find Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay and Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum listed on the app. And to make your VR experience much more interactive and fun, you have Art Zoom and Art Projector features at your service. I mean, haven’t we all wished to see Monet’s Water Lilies or Van Gogh’s Starry Nights up and close without anyone coming in between? If that’s a yes, go try out Art Projector on the app.
  • While Google Arts & Culture platform happens to be an absolute delight for all art lovers, many of the leading museums and art galleries also happen to offer virtual tours on their websites including the most popular museum in the world – The Louvre (Paris). And just like the Louvre, there’s Centre Pompidou, Grand Palais, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, London National Gallery, and Vatican Museums whose websites offer perfect in-house quarantine entertainment with virtual tours and online exclusive collections. Then we also have our very own National Gallery of Modern Art and Victorian Memorial Hall Museum offering virtual exhibits and Sarmaya Arts Foundation’s museum without boundaries on Instagram. Also, you can find many of the museums sharing content about their collections on Instagram under #MuseumFromHome.
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. 🇫🇷 Mercredi, c’est #HistoireDuLouvre ! Promenons-nous aujourd’hui dans la Grande Galerie. 👣 – 🕰 Construite entre 1595 et‪ 1609‬, cette longue galerie permettait à l'origine de relier le Louvre au palais des Tuileries. Espace de circulation pour le souverain et ses proches, le décor inachevé avait été commandé à Nicolas Poussin. La galerie abrite, tout au long du XVllle siècle, la collection royale de plans-reliefs des villes fortifiées. – 🔎 Elle est par la suite destinée à la présentation du futur musée royal, qui n'ouvre ses portes qu'en pleine Révolution, le 10 août 1793. Sous l’Empire, les architectes Percier et Fontaine rythment la galerie par des groupes de colonnes. Réduite du tiers de sa longueur sous le Second Empire, elle est alors pourvue de deux rotondes décorées de stucs par Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. La Grande Galerie abrite aujourd’hui la collection de peintures italiennes. – – – – 🌍 Wednesday, it’s #LouvreHistory ! Today, let’s take a walk on the Grande Galerie. 👣 – 🕰 Built between 1595 and 1609, this long gallery was originally used to connect the Louvre to the Palais des Tuileries. It was first a circulation area for the king and his family. The unfinished decoration was commissioned from Nicolas Poussin. The Gallery housed, throughout the 18th century, the royal collection of relief maps of fortified towns. – 🔎 It was later reserved for the presentation of the future Royal Museum, which only opened its doors during the Revolution, on August 10, 1793. Under the Empire, Percier and Fontaine divided up the gallery with groups of columns. Under the Second Empire, its lenght was reduced by a third, and two rotundas were added, decorated with stuccos by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. The Grande Galerie now houses the collection of Italian paintings. – 📷©️Musée du Louvre / Maëlys Feunteun . . . #Louvre #MuseeduLouvre #LouvreChezVous #MuseumFromHome #Culturecheznous

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R for Raja Raja Chola I #RajaRajaChola was a renowned king who ruled over the Chola kingdom in southern India from 985 to 1014 CE. Regarded by many as one of the greatest kings in Indian history, he was a celebrated conqueror and an efficient administrator. It was during his reign that the Cholas were able to subdue the #Cheras, #Pandyas and the Western #Chalukyas. His first triumph was the destruction of the Chera navy at present-day #Thiruvananthapuram. He expanded the Chola territory from the #Tungabhadra in the north to #SriLanka in the south. He led many naval campaigns that resulted in the conquest of the #MalabarCoast, the #Maldives and Sri Lanka. Raja Raja Chola I’s coinage was found in hoards in parts of southern India. He issued coins in gold, silver and copper. His coins are characterised by the inscription ‘Sri Raja Raja’ or with the king’s portrait accompanied by the inscription ‘Jaya Chola’. The portraiture is seen as an influence possibly from Roman coins. The front of this coin showcases the king holding a four-hooked mace in his right hand right and four books on his left. It also shows a lotus creeper at the bottom and a conch. On the reverse, the coin is inscribed in Nagari legend, ‘Jaya Chola’ Image: Silver fanam issued by Raja Raja Chola I, c 980-1014 CE #36DaysOfType07 #36DaysOfType #36days_R #CholaKingdom #Cholas #TamilNadu #SarmayaCollection #Numismatics #RareCoins #MuseumWithoutBoundaries #Sarmaya36DaysOfType

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  • Following in the virtual footsteps of museums and art galleries, opera companies and orchestras from Paris to New York have been streaming concerts online. From the Berlin Philharmonic giving everyone free access to its Digital Concert Hall to New York’s Met Opera streaming past performances from its Live In HD series on the website and the Paris Opera streaming opera classics from the institution’s archives free of charge – the encapsulating magic of opera continues but from the screens of your laptops and smartphones. And we also have Vienna State Opera offering a different opera to watch each day from its archives, for free, via its streaming platform and the Royal Opera House bringing both ballet and opera to its Facebook and YouTube channels. Also, Berlin’s much-famous Pierre Boulez Saal has started Intermission Series where they feature a regularly updated selection of past concerts each available for two or three days. Well, I’m sure the culturally curious are truly pleased right now.
  • No, we haven’t forgotten about the fashion fanatics and neither has Vogue Italia. And therefore, they have opened their digitized archive from 1964 to present for you all. You can now get a free full archive subscription until 13th June’20. That’s not all. Even Sarabande Foundation has launched Sarabande Sessions, a selection of inspirational and creative talks, on its website since 27th March’20. And Vogue Portugal has made its March Edition free for online download and you’ll be glad to know that the issue is dedicated to ART, in all its forms. With an idea of establishing a deeper connection with the audience, many brands like Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, JW Anderson, Loewe, Alexander McQueen, Nicobar are bringing virtual experiences (such as sketching, reading, music, and wellness) to their social channels to add joy and entertainment to our otherwise disrupted everyday lives. And now we also have had Vogue launch Vogue Global Conversations to stir conversation around the future of fashion and DIOR put up it’s enchanting “Designer Of Dreams” exhibition on it’s YouTube channel.
  • And now, one of the most exclusive addresses in art and culture, Fondation Louis Vuitton is taking their quarantine initiative further by giving everyone an opportunity to be a part of their legendary experiences. Under #FLVFromHome , you can experience some of the breathtaking events on its YouTube channel. This week’s complimentary events include the following: a visit to the exhibit with commentary by the curators on 22nd April 2020 at 9:30 p.m. (IST), a piano jazz session with Ahmad Jamal on 24th April 2020 at 12:00 a.m. (IST), and a concert by laureates of the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle on 26 April 2020 at 9:00 pm (IST).
Ahmad Jamal
Ahmad Jamal, Image Courtesy: Fondation Louis Vuitton
  • To support the rich cultural landscape and the contemporary art scene in Seoul, Gucci has propelled a multi-layered project titled – ‘No Space, Just A Place’ at the Daelim Museum, Seoul. Curated by Myriam Ben Salah, this exhibition proposes a new definition of what an “other space” might be – a place to build a different, desirable future with new ways for humans to relate to each other and to their surroundings. And these are reflected in the mission and ambitions of the alternative spaces presented by artists and independent art spaces as part of the exhibit. Though it is open till 12th July 2020 in Seoul, you can also experience it from your favourite home corner on the exhibit’s website, courtesy a 360̊ clickable video.

Artwork by Lee Kang Seung & Cecile B. Evans for ‘No Space, Just A Place’, Image Courtesy: Gucci

P.S. If you all fashion and art lovers know of any more sources of quarantine entertainment, let us know in the comments below. And stay home and stay safe.

Updated May 12th, 2020.

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