8 Fascinating Virtual Art Exhibits and Events To View This Summer

Even as some art museums and cultural institutions begin to tentatively re-open their buildings this month, insiders say that most of the action in the art world will remain online for the foreseeable future. Here we present a diverse mix of virtual exhibits that includes museums,  large galleries, and smaller art events.

Even as some art museums and cultural institutions begin to tentatively re-open their buildings this month, insiders say that most of the action in the art world will remain online for the foreseeable future. When their physical locations closed this spring, many museums, galleries, and art event organizers got to work developing innovative online experiences. They have been creating enhanced videos and 3-D virtual tours to showcase their exhibits and events. Since artists never stop creating, some new exhibits are showing work made during the pandemic. And while there is no match for looking at art in person, those of us at home who love art can use the internet to choose from an array of interesting virtual options in locales all over the globe.

Many arts institutions are currently facing funding issues and increased financial pressure, and some are very concerned about their viability. Attending any cultural event—even online—helps support artists and the arts at this critical time. Here are eight interesting art exhibits and events now on view online, and these are just a sampling of many more virtual options out there for art aficionados. Here we present a diverse mix of online exhibits that include museums, some larger galleries, and smaller art events.


“Life During Wartime: Art in the Age of the Coronavirus” | University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FLimage from Tampa USF exhibit, an abstract face in orange, yellow, and greens.

This modern art museum in Tampa, FL, presents an online exhibit focused on art created during the pandemic. All of the artists have their own section on the site, which includes images of their work and written information about their lives. The exhibit features painting, sculptures, and photographs from creators around the world along with video interviews with some of the artists. Organizers said the exhibit will continue to evolve with the addition of new artists and materials.


VOMA (Virtual Online Museum of Art)

The Virtual Online Museum of Art (VOMA) is a fully digital museum that is set to open on August 14. British art curator Lee Cavaliere is VOMA’s director, and it was constructed from scratch by artist Stuart Semple and a group of CGI artists, game designers, and computer engineers. It will show art from institutions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Musée d’Orsay, along with works from contemporary artists. Digital visitors can stroll around the museum and even leave the building to take virtual walk around the grounds surrounding it. Each artwork will be presented in high resolution and will be accompanied by related media and references. The museum is free and can be accessed by anyone around the world with an internet connection.


“Andy Warhol” | Tate Modern, London screenshot from Tate Modern website Warhol Exhibit, showing Marilyn Monroe pop art

The Tate Modern museum in London opened its “Andy Warhol” exhibition just days before the building shut down in March. But before closing its door, the museum created a video of the exhibition which includes a walk-through of the show and a discussion with exhibit curators. This retrospective exhibit features more than 100 works made by Warhol throughout this career. In addition to the main exhibit video, virtual visitors can also explore a room-by-room exhibition guide which explores themes of his work, and watch a video to learn how he made his prints.


“Jordan Casteel: Within Reach” | New Museum, NYC

An exhibit of paintings by New York City artist Jordan Castel is currently on display at the New Museum in Manhattan. A comprehensive video tour on the museum’ site explores the exhibit and includes audio of Casteel discussing her work as well as information from the exhibit’s curator. Casteel’s large paintings are primarily portraits that depict people of color and capture daily life through the lens of the black community.


“Hearts in Isolation” | Studio Museum, NYCLogo for Hearts in Isolation exhibit, black-and-white photo of Harlem street

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s first online exhibit, “Hearts in Isolation,” includes photographs by 15 student artists from New York City high schools shot during quarantine. The teenagers are participants in an extracurricular program offered by the museum that seeks to promote the discussion of social issues through the study of photography. The students wrote essays about their work that is presented along with the photographs.


Market Art+Design Fair | Long Island, NY

This annual modern art and design fair typically opens in the tony Hamptons area of Long Island, New York around this time of year. This year it is being hosted online instead. More than 45 galleries from around the world are showing a range of contemporary art and design items.


“Faces of Frida” | Google Arts & Culture

Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most well-known artists, was a prolific creator. In this innovative online exhibit created by Google’s Art & Culture initiative, 32 museums have collaborated to present Kahlo’s extensive works of art. Viewers can decide which museum’s Kahlo collection they want to explore and zoom in close to her painting to view tiny details. Kahlo was also very involved politically, and this virtual exhibit includes essays and feature stories about her life and legacy.


“Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression” | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Catalog cover for Boston Museum's Monet exhibit

In honor of it 150th anniversary, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston had planned to exhibit all 35 of its Claude Monet Impressionist paintings. Instead, the physical exhibit was postponed, and it has now pivoted online. At the MFA site, virtual visitors can view a slideshow and video of Monet’s paintings, watch a video interview with a curator, and hear music inspired by the French artist.

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