Apostponed is not canceled. Next time. Most certainly. There is always something in between. No time. No opportunity. No more vacation day. There are so many great museums in this country, and each one delights visitors in a unique way.
But most travelers usually only manage to book a city museum trip for the major blockbuster exhibitions. Although so many museums are on the to-do lists of those who love to travel, all too often good will remains. Now there are new ways to conveniently work through the to-do list.
There are more than 6,800 museums in Germany, with around 114 million visitors a year. And now that they’re closed, museums are sorely missing. But: More and more houses have been digitizing their holdings for a long time and making them virtually accessible bit by bit.
The corona pandemic is accelerating the trend: many museum directors react flexibly, enable new online tours or present individual exhibits on the Internet. Stroll and be amazed from the living room.
The museums communicate their offers on their websites, the digital tours can also be found on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, often tagged with #MuseumFromHome or #ClosedbutOpen – closed but open. So it is worth discovering the museums from a new perspective. Here we present the ten most ambitious virtual free vernissages in Germany.
Frankfurt: Great cinema near Schirn and Städel
It was planned for spring 2020: with my mother, I wanted the spectacular exhibition “Fantastische Frauen. Surreal worlds from Meret Oppenheim to Frida Kahlo ”at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, which actually runs until mid-May. But then Corona intervened.
Fortunately, it now turns out that the Schirn is actually showing the exhibition digitally, with pictures, stories and quotes by Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim, Claude Cahun and Leonora Carrington. There is also a video tour, podcasts as “Art for the Ears” and knowledgeable “Schirn Shortcuts”, in which works are served as three-minute art nibbles (schirn.de/besuch/).
Great! By the way, my 81-year-old mother discovered this virtual exhibition. Now I can take a tour with her, each in front of her screen, and enjoy art together.
A virtual leap further goes to the nearby Städel Museum in Frankfurt, which is considered a pioneer of digitization. There is a digital, well-curated collection from 700 years of art history and an online course on art from 1750 to the present day.
Exciting: The five-part podcast series “Finding van Gogh” embarks on the search for the last large portrait of Vincent van Gogh, the “Portrait of Dr. Gachet ”, which has been missing from the public eye for three decades (staedelmuseum.de, then click “Digital”).
There is even a virtual journey through time through the museum, conveniently on the desktop, tablet or even on the smartphone with the free app for the virtual reality glasses Samsung Gear VR. You can stroll through the reconstructed museum rooms from 1878 on the Schaumainkai (zeitreise.staedelmuseum.de).
Munich: Round trips in the German Museum
Here you can spend days, oh what, weeks and feel smarter by the minute. The Deutsches Museum in Munich and its locations at the Schleißheim and Bonn flight yards are digitally “always open”, it says on its website.
The virtual offer is incredibly diverse. In one-hour videos “Science for everyone”, there are current topics from science and technology – such as “The discrete mathematics of democracy” or “Superfood from the 3D printer”.
Virtual tours through shipping, aviation and space travel can be seen with 360-degree photographs. Round trips through space are offered, as well as lessons on Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Earth satellites. The free app with science snacks has already 100,000 downloads.
Demonstrations also go digital: for example flash shows and experiments with nitrogen; and in the podcast as “Museum to Hear” there are contributions with insights behind the scenes of research on objects and exhibitions in the German Museum – from cryptology to particle physics. Particularly popular: a virtual walk on the moon (deutsches-museum.de, click on “digital offers” there).
Essen: Van Gogh in the Folkwang Museum
Germany’s art critics have just voted the Folkwang Museum in Essen “Museum of the Year”. The German department of the International Association of Art Critics AICA justified the decision with the fact that the house always combines its important collection with works by Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Max Beckmann or Otto Dix “with thematically current special exhibitions”.
The Museum Folkwang is expanding its digital presence, launched its own app and expanded its partnership with the free cultural platform Google Art Project.
The virtual exhibition “Vincent van Gogh very close” shows one of his icons: Consisting of over a billion pixels, the digital version of van Gogh’s “Rhonebarken” allows zooming in down to the smallest details of the painting. With the zoom function you can see even the smallest brushstrokes of the genius (museum-folkwang.de as well as about artsandculture.google.com).
Berlin: Nefertiti and T-Rex Tristan in the museum
The bust of Nefertiti, Schliemann’s Troja collection, Édouard Manet’s “Winter Garden” or Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” are among the public’s favorites. The Museum Island normally attracts almost three million visitors from all over the world every year with its collections in the Old and New Museums, in the Old National Gallery, in the Pergamon and Bode Museum.
Those who are currently grieving to miss Raphael’s current grandiose Madonna exhibition in the Gemäldegalerie will have a surprising opportunity to catch up. “Even when our museums are currently closed, visitors do not have to do without the masterpieces of the great Raphael,” says Michael Eissenhauer, general director of the State Museums in Berlin and director of the picture gallery and sculpture collection. The catalog is in honor of the master of the Italian Renaissance “Raphael in Berlin” available for download on the website of the State Museums – free of charge (smb.museum).
All of the houses now offer virtual tours, including the Bode Museum: 61 of its rooms can be explored thanks to 360-degree panoramas (bode360.smb.museum).
In the Pergamon Museum you can enjoy an unexpected 3D view of the hall with the Pergamon Altar, which will remain closed until 2023 due to renovation (3d.smb.museum/pergamonaltar).
A virtual tour is also worthwhile in the nearby Museum of Natural History in Berlin-Mitte. Because the best-preserved dinosaur skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex – with its 1.50 meter head – can still be admired online, although Tristan, like the T-Rex, was actually out of town. The rattling frame was dismantled and his bones lent to Copenhagen (museumfuernaturkunde.berlin).
This text is from the WELT AM SONNTAG. We would be happy to deliver them to your home regularly.