In early spring 2020, much of the world came to a halt with the onset of coronavirus COVID-19. Schools closed, concerts canceled, and much of the population across the United States began to limit their movement and stay in their homes. COVID-19 also affected art and culture museums, and to help combat the spread of the virus, many museums closed their doors to visitors.
During this time, some art museums have online virtual tours that are available to the public for free. While online exhibits are not the same experience as visiting a museum in person, they provide a much-needed respite from the isolation of quarantine. Especially during the museum closures from COVID-19, this exciting use of technology has been welcomed by the art community.
In the Miami area, many of our local art museums offer virtual tours themselves. These virtual tours are extremely engaging, and they are each a fantastic way to discover art from comfort – and safety – of your home. Below, we detail several Miami art museums with virtual tours, and we also discuss how one can visit art museums safely when they open to the public.
Bass Museum of Art
The well-known Bass Museum of Art has an impressive, free virtual museum tour. On their website, there are several tours for a variety of modern art exhibits. These virtual tours include Ugo Rondinone’s “Good Evening Beautiful Blue,” Pascale Marthine Tayou’s “Beautiful,” Aaron Curry’s “Tune Yer Head,” and the Hass Brothers’ “Frengully.” The museum made the virtual tour using 3D cameras by Matterport, a leader in high-resolution interior imaging. Viewers can also experience the virtual tour with Google Cardboard virtual reality glasses for a more immersive experience. You can find the Bass Museum of Art virtual tours here.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
This stunning Vizcaya Museum’s architecture is art itself, and people can enjoy the building, gardens, and interior galleries with a virtual tour. The virtual tour allows people to move from room to room with an interactive map. When the viewer is outside near the water, recorded ocean sounds help the viewer feel as though they are actually on the waterfront property. You can find the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens virtual tour here.
ICA Miami’s famous museum also offers a worthwhile virtual art museum experience. Their virtual tour is unique, as the museum features each art piece on a computer-generated wall graphic. Viewers can then click on each art piece to expand the image to learn more about each work. As the images are very high-quality, please note that this tour does take a few moments to load on your computer. You can find ICA Miami’s virtual tour here.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) offers a video-based virtual art museum tour. PAMM’s virtual tour does not use any special software, and instead, it is solely video content on YouTube. In some ways, these videos are ideal, as the viewer can sit back and enjoy the tour without having to navigate through each interior room with their mouse. You can find Pérez Art Museum Miami’s virtual tours here, which include contemporary art by Kevin Beasley and Vaughn Spann. Their YouTube channel also has dozens of other art-related videos.
How to safely visit art museums that are now open
Although many museums are still closed to visitors, COVID-19 restrictions are changing, and some museums are open to the public. Accordingly, we would like to share some tips for visiting art museums safely. Of course, while these tips do not guarantee that visitors will not contract COVID-19, they do help visitors keep their risks of contracting the virus low.
First, please be sure to wear a face mask during your visit. Face masks are a simple yet effective way to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Secondly, practice social distancing while inside the museum. If a room is full, consider visiting another part of the museum until the room starts to empty. Relatedly, you can call the museum before your visit and ask which hours are least busy. If possible, you can plan your visit to occur during those low-traffic hours. Finally, please refrain from contacting high-touch surfaces whenever possible.
How Museo Vault serves the Miami art scene
For many of the museums listed above, Museo Vault provides a full-service art storage solution. In addition to storing art pieces in a secure, temperature-controlled facility, we also work with museums and private collections to pack and transport fine art pieces.