Are you self-quarantined at home due to the recent pandemic?
If you’re interested in self-distance learning, thousands of museums world-wide have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to provide free virtual tours.
The British Museum is one of my favorite virtual tours from this collection. Founded in 1753, the British Museum is nationally recognized as covering “all fields of human knowledge.” The museum is home to eight million artifacts (the largest collection in the world).
Did you know that the museum is older than the U.S.? It’s the world’s oldest national public museum, opening its doors in 1759 — 17 years before the creation of the Declaration of Independence. The museum is also a Hollywood star. Fifteen movies have been filmed at the museum, two of which you may have seen —“Tale of the Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns.”
Right from my computer screen, I took a trip to London’s most iconic museum. Although the museum is temporarily closed, I was still able to take a tour — virtually. While drinking fresh coffee on my couch, I was able to click through artifacts and exhibits in the museum that I wanted to view.
Interested in the progression of art, I clicked on “Art Movements” under categories. During the 18th century, Romanticism was an artistic, literacy, musical and intellectual movement, which originated in Europe. The art movement is characterized by strong emotion and individualism. Romanticism often includes images of angels, nude women and/or demons. Strong emotions such as horror or distress are often depicted in Romanticism. Ironically, Romanticism art also captures the essences of the beauty in nature. The Death of Sardanapalus, an oil painting by Eugene Delacroix, is the embodiment of Romanticism. The oil painting is based on the tale of Sardanapalus, the last king of Assyria. The painting depicts a dramatic scene of dominance and despair, while the last king of Assyria lounges on an ottoman.
Jumping to “Historical Events” on my computer screen, I was able to view thousands of historical images. I clicked on World War I and found myself reading through censorship restrictions on the press in Belgium. During the war, the press outlets in Belgium were often censored by the government. Approximately four million U.S. troops were mobilized during this war, resulting in 110,000 deaths. Germany’s formal surrender ended WWI on Nov. 11, 1918. The Treaty of Versailles was signed by Germany and its allied nations on June 28, 1919.
I spent a little over an hour on my virtual tour, but half a day could easily be lost exploring through all the history that the British Museum has to offer.