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Art by Brad Cuzen

10 virtual museum tours every designer should check out

Has social distancing got you feeling a little uninspired? Well thanks to technology, you can still feed your creative soul by traveling to some of the world’s best museums & galleries. While physical locations may be closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you’ll be happy to hear that tons of museums have graciously opened their virtual doors so you can enjoy amazing online exhibits, and keep the inspiration flowing from the comfort of your own home.

The ten virtual tours showcased below have been thoughtfully curated with designers in mind. From world-class museums to niche exhibition galleries, it’s time to enjoy some seriously enlightening art & design right from your couch. Let’s go!

1. MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art

You can now access one of New York City’s most influential museums—The MoMA—right from your computer screen. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, enjoy viewing over 100 of the museum’s most famous works spanning modern and contemporary art from Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cézanne, and plenty more.

2. Letterform Archive

This San Franciso non-profit museum holds an incredible collection of historical lettering, typography, printing, and graphic design. As of April 7, you can now check out thousands of hi-fi images from the Letterform Archive to inspire your own design work.

3. Museum of Brands: Packaging Design Exhibit

Based in London, The Museum of Brands explores the history of consumer culture from the Victorian era to the present day. Right now, you can check out their fascinating online exhibit dedicated to packaging design, and learn how it has evolved over the centuries.

4. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

This renowned New York City design museum is currently offering three virtual exhibits via Google: Check out a collection of botanical-inspired design, zoom into the intricacies of a beautiful panel embroidery, and explore objects created by prominent African American designers. There’s plenty of design inspiration to be gathered so don’t miss out!

5. Web Design Museum

While the Web Design Museum actually lives online, it’s still a worthwhile addition to your virtual exhibit tour. Take a trip down memory lane as you browse through web design trends between the years 1991 and 2006—including what the original Apple, SpaceX, and Netflix websites used to look like. Oh, how far we’ve come!

6. The Louvre

The world-famous Louvre museum located in Paris, France is now offering virtual tours of its finest exhibits. This iconic museum and landmark is home to some of the most renowned artworks including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Take a virtual walk inside its majestic halls as you explore the incredible exhibitions The Louvre has to offer.

7. The International Museum of Children’s Art

For some real uninhibited creativity, we highly recommend checking out The International Museum of Children’s Art collection. Connect with your inner child as you explore over 100 works of art created by kids in all different kinds of mediums.

8. The Neon Museum

Appropriately nestled in vibrant Las Vegas, Nevada, The Neon Museum is home to incredible signage from old casinos and businesses past. While you can’t currently tour the 2.6 acres of museum grounds, you can still check out their vast collection of signs and learn all about them via their website. Just type in the password ‘neon’ and you’re in!

9. Google Arts & Culture: Street Art

While this isn’t technically a museum, Google Arts & Culture now allows you to visually discover the history, location, and creators of street art from around the world. Browse public art with a spotlight on major cities like Paris, Berlin, Buenos Aires and more. There’s plenty to see here so get excited to hit the virtual streets!

10. FIDM Museum & Galleries

Regardless of your creative specialty, there’s tons of inspiration to be gathered from fashion design. See for yourself by accessing FIDM Museum & Galleries online. Their collection of garments spans over 200 years of fashion history—from haute couture to iconic film costumes and everything in between.

That’s a wrap! For a full list of museums and galleries offering virtual tours, check out Google Arts & Culture’s expansive collection of online exhibits. We hope you enjoy your virtual travels, friends!

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