ActivityExplore the world's finest museums from home

Turn your living room into a fascinating exhibition space with these online exhibitions and digital collections

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Being unable to travel is no longer a bar to exploring and enjoying the collections of some of the world’s finest museums. We have been delving into the art and history of the cities where we have our hotels to discover the most amazing culture from the comfort of our own armchair.

 

Discover Abu Dhabi’s cultural connections

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will digitally transport visitors to a world of art and antiquities. From the breathtakingly well-preserved remains of Ancient Egyptian sarcophagi to dramatic statues from the Roman Empire and a 600-year-old ornate mosque lamp, each addition to the virtual collection is described via images, videos and audio commentary. The multimedia resources also include interactive activities for children, which add an entertaining twist to this fascinating educational experience. More modern offerings in the collection include Piet Mondrian’s primary colour paintings, which appear alongside lessons to help kids recreate the Dutch artist’s eye-catching works.

The exterior of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

 

See Shanghai’s visual sensations

Virtual visitors to China’s financial hub are spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural attractions. First, the Shanghai History Museum’s online tour guides viewers through 6,000 years of history, while contemporary works are on offer at the Pearl Art Museum – a 4,000-square-metre gallery designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Be sure to explore the enduring influence of woodblock-printing and calligraphy with the evocative Landscape and Books exhibition. Take in Beijing on the same ‘trip’ with the Panoramic Palace Museum, which flings open the doors of The Forbidden City with a VR tour that invites you to walk around the empty complex. Gaze at delicate winged roofs and fearsome dragon statues with not another soul in sight – it’s the kind of access you would never be able to secure in real life.

The Forbidden City in Beijing

 

Step inside Frankfurt’s Städel Museum

Grab your smartphone and start swiping and scrolling your way through 700 years of art courtesy of the Städel Museum’s free online archive that’s curated into themed albums, including On the Road, The Animal Kingdom in Art, and Battle of the Sexes. Collection highlights include modern masterpieces by Claude Monet, Edvard Munch and Pablo Picasso, as well as Old Masters from the Renaissance and Baroque ages, such as Jan Van Eyck, Johannes Vermeer and Titian. For some audio art appreciation, check out the museum’s recently launched podcast Finding Van Gogh, in which the presenters embark on a search for the Dutch artist’s last self-portrait, which went missing 30 years ago.

The interior of a modern art gallery

 

Delve into Dubai’s art scene

Sourced from galleries around the world, Art Dubai’s online catalogues reveal photographs, videos, sculptures, installations and mixed media pieces by well-known and up-and-coming Emirati and international artists. With many of the pieces available for purchase, it’s an excellent resource if you are looking for that extra-special painting to hang in your own home. For more boundary-breaking works, a visit to Alserkal Online is a must. A collective project from the galleries that line Alserkal Avenue, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to access 15 new exhibitions, hear interviews with gallery owners and see artworks in incredible close-up.

The roof of the British Museum

 

From animals to ancient artefacts in London

Sitting pretty in South Kensington, the Natural History Museum is an iconic institution – the architecturally stunning building is home to more than 80 million specimens and, thanks to its sculpture-covered exterior and soaring entrance hallway, has been nicknamed ‘a cathedral to nature’. Come face-to-face with creatures great and small, and gaze at the Hintze Hall’s gilded canopy, with a virtual tour before marvelling at critters captured by camera with the Wildlife Photographer of the Year’s online archives. Next, walk through the pages of history with the British Museum’s 360-degree view virtual tour. From the Rosetta Stone to Egyptian mummies and Parthenon sculptures, it’s like going on a digital archaeological dig.