Here Is Your Look Into The Fantastical World of Virtual Museums 

Whisk yourself away to another country and explore both culture and art through your phone.  
Thursday 20 August 2020
A new virtual museum, dubbed VOMA, will make its debut soon. Photo: Courtesy of Stuart Semple and VOMA

While there have been improvements in some places and numbers decreasing in others, the pandemic has still restricted us all to the confines of our homes and countries. It would be prudent still to maintain the distance from people until there is the true hope of a vaccine. 

In the time that virus has been confining a large portion of the world, museums are not a place you’ll likely see many in. The Google Arts and Culture app found new life last year when it was used for selfie/portrait matches, popular social media fads that come and go with the wind. Now it’s finding resurgence with it’s augmented reality features. 



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Dating in 2020 be like. Create your #ArtProjector moments using your Google Arts & Culture app. @uffizigalleries

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On the app, one can find a whole new world of art to explore through virtual captures of the insides of museums and high-resolution images of the painting or sculptures that are being exhibited. There are online mini-lectures for some of the pieces, online exhibitions that you can scroll through and zoom in on images or you can simple peruse the paintings and sculptures available. The best thing is to try out the augmented reality feature called the Art Projector which allows users to place life-size images of the paintings anywhere they want through their camera phone.



The list is endless, with over 2000 museums that you can explore anytime from The Munch Museum to The MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Walk the halls of these grand museums metaphorically through the screen of your phone and experience a mini wonderland of art and culture in your own home. Pinch and zoom and get nice and close to the paintings without the worry that you’ll be hogging it or be breathing on someone else. Take a close look at Vincent Van Goh’s The Starry Night at the MOMA for yourself to see all the amazing brush strokes he made. 


Place the Mona Lisa anywhere you want in your house to admire the work in augmented reality.


Hangout with the Mona Lisa if that’s what you like to do in your free time. 


The app can be downloaded on the app store for android or apple and is completely free. 


A Whole Other Animal  

Instead of just taking a peek inside already established museums, coming soon is a whole new kind of experience in the virtual world that has slowly been growing. Be introduced to Kickstarter project VOMA (Virtual Online Museum of Art). This entirely digital museum stands out amongst the crowd because of it’s purely virtual conception, it will be a place that will only exist on your phone or computer.



“I believe art should be for everyone. The internet is the most inclusive and democratic public space we have, and it’s time we had a digital museum-style institution ready to inspire and connect online audiences with great art,” British artist Stuart Semple, who conceived VOMA, said in a statement. 

Semple has worked hard and partnered with a global team of architects, CGI designers, gaming experts and curators to create a digital building that can adapt to any specific time zone or geographic location. The VOMA can be accessed for free from anywhere in the world. 



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“Inside the ‘VOMA World,’ you will notice changes according to the time of day or the season; … the environmental impacts of light, wind and rain,” a press release states. 


The Art 

The art on show will be curated by London-based art dealer Lee Cavaliere and feature masterpieces on loan from international institutions such as Musée d’Orsay, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Among them will be Édouard Manet’s Olympia, which is currently housed at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights and Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas are also going to hang on the virtual walls of this museum. 



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Each piece, presented in high resolution, will be accompanied by a multitude of related media and references to enrich the virtual visit of art enthusiasts around the globe. All the information you need in one place for you to expand your knowledge of the arts. 

Not only will they have on loan pieces but VOMA will present commissioned artworks by international contemporary artists as part of its newly-launched Digital Firsts Commission Programme. 

As the inaugural recipient of the Digital Firsts Commission, Kenya-born multimedia Phoebe Boswell will debut her latest piece along with a soundscape by Scottish-Nigerian singer-songwriter Bumi Thomas in VOMA’s Artist Space. 



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Communal Space 

The VOMA was conceptualised to be like other museums have been, a community place where people feel welcome to adventure. There will be a community feature that also gives visitors the opportunity to see the routes other attendees have taken, read their reviews and even link up with friends visiting at the same time.

“We wanted to integrate the sense of community and buzz of going to a cool museum, where there are often so many different shows going on, and immersive or interactive experiences… We want our visitors to feel like this is their space, and we want them to want to come back again and again, whether to visit new exhibitions as the programme continues or just to hang out,” Semple added.


Source: AFP Relax News