Visit the NGV
While galleries and museums are closed to the public, you can still get your art and history fix online. The National Gallery of Victoria has gone all out to provide art lovers with online access to 90 per cent of the 75,000 works in its collection and is offering a virtual tour of the gallery. For kids and schools it has opened an NGV kids’ resources portal and schools can book virtual excursions or use online learning resources.
Check out the art at the Australian National Portrait Gallery
Art lovers may also like to visit The Australian National Portrait Gallery. Memorable paintings include Howard Arkley’s portrait of musician Nick Cave.
Explore the current collections at Museums Victoria
You can’t visit the museum in person right now but you can explore their collections, including an intricately carved 1847 Aboriginal shield and the Melbourne Museum’s star attraction since 1932, the magnificently taxidermied Phar Lap. You can also check out the best of the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks and Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the Museums Victoria website.
Peruse the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria’s online museum
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria – the mob that puts on the Royal Melbourne Show – has a virtual online museum with archival records, artefacts and photographs from the 1870s to today, highlighting Victoria’s rural heritage. Budding genealogists can search the show’s exhibition catalogues from 1872 to fill in gaps in the family tree and find out whether Great Aunt Mavis truly did win a ribbon for the best pumpkin scones.
Visit the Australian Museum’s Capturing Climate Change exhibition
The Australian Museum has an online exhibition on Capturing Climate Change through the camera lens of wildlife warrior Robert Irwin from Australia Zoo, Australian photographer Stephen Dupont and others.
Robert has zoomed in on wildlife affected by climate change, including Australia’s green sea turtles, as well as animals from around the globe such as giraffes and rhinos, while Stephen’s images include the recent devastating NSW and Victorian fires from flaming trees to burnt earth.
There are monthly guest contributors and the museum also asks ordinary folk to submit images showing climate change.
Spy on animals at the Royal Melbourne Zoo
Forget productivity. You can waste hours watching the animals at Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Zoos Victoria has set up live stream cameras around the grounds so, instead of background TV noise, why not let the zoos’ gorgeous baby snow leopard cubs, lazy lions or hungry giraffes keep you company all day, every day.
MONA might be closed, but that doesn't mean you can't live stream one of the Hobart gallery’s most intiguing artworks; Tim. Since 2011, Tim – a former tattoo-parlour manager from Zurich and human work of art – has sat at MONA for more than 3500 hours. His back, which features a tattoo by artist Wim Delvoye, is the canvas, and he’s live streaming it from 10am to 4.30pm daily.
Go to the Louvre
Further afield, the Paris Louvre has online tours of some of its exhibitions and galleries, including its Egyptian antiquities collection.
Wander through the Victoria and Albert Museum
In London, the Victoria and Albert Museum allows you to search its collections, from jewellery to paintings.
Click through themed collections from the Uffizi
The Uffizi museum and gallery in Florence, Italy, has themed online collections like The Easter Story with artworks on the Passion, death and resurrection of Christ.
Check out The Met Gallery in New York
Get inside access to The Met Gallery through The Met 360° Project. The award-winning series of six short videos invites viewers around the world to virtually visit The Met’s art and architecture in a fresh, immersive way. Created using spherical 360° technology, the award-winning series of six short videos allows viewers to explore some of the museum’s iconic spaces. Experience the magic of standing in an empty gallery after-hours or floating high above The Met Cloisters for a bird’s-eye view.