Frustrated at not being able to travel? I certainly am.
Fortunately, many organizations around the world have created free online content to help keep us entertained and make sure our brains don’t stagnate.
Two that I’d like to share this week are the Washington DC History & Culture Meetup group and the Louvre Museum.
Pre-COVID, the Washington DC group organized popular themed tours in that area. Now, they are creating and putting online 60-90 minute livestreams on a huge variety of topics.
Today, I participated in a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the Smithsonian. Some of the others I’ve watched include:
- Harriet Tubman Tour
- Van Gogh
- Diana Ross
- Medieval London Walking Tour (led by a professional tour guide from London)
- Shakespeare’s London (ditto)
- Courtship and Marriage in 18th Century Virginia
I’d also like to catch the Barcelona History Tour and maybe some of the other art talks—Monet, Renoir, Georgia O’Keeffe.
It’s not quite the same as visiting a city or museum in person, but the topics are interesting and the guides are keen on their subjects. At least it gets me out of the house in my imagination.
I think you must sign up for the group (free) in order to get notifications of upcoming shows (https://www.meetup.com/DCHistoryAndCulture/). That’s what I did. Some of the shows are recorded and added to their Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/WashingtonDCHistoryCulture/videos), so you can access them any time, while others seem to be one-off. Since the number of people who can watch the livestreams is limited, it’s worth it to get notifications so you can jump on things that interest you. I’ve been shut out of a couple of things because I waited too long to get on the list.
A few days ago, I received notice that the Louvre has put nearly half a million items from its collection online for the public to visit free of charge (https://collections.louvre.fr/en/). You can browse the whole collection (a rather daunting prospect) or choose from “themed albums” (https://collections.louvre.fr/en/albums) such as:
- Masterpieces of the Louvre
- 2020 Acquisitions
- The Art of Portraiture
- Kings, Queens, and Emperors
Assemble an afternoon repast of baguette, French cheese, petits fours, and café au lait and settle down for a visit with some of the world’s most important artworks.
Look on the bright side: your feet won’t be aching when you finish up and you’ll probably get a better view of many of those artifacts then you would peering through dozens of other gawking tourists.
What are your favourite online programs/sites for culture, arts, or history?