Today’s post for “Social Sunday” on the Ohio 4-H Facebook page encourages you to tour a museum virtually with friends and gives several suggestions of museums to visit. I thought this topic fit well with Friday’s post about planning an imaginary road trip. In the case of a virtual tour, you can take the trip, it’s just virtual. Whether you tour with friends or by yourself, it’s a great way to have fun and learn at the same time.
Virtual tours can consist of a collection of videos, still images, 3D walk-throughs, and written descriptions that help you feel as though you’re visiting the museum. Although it will not be everything in the museum’s collection, you will still get to see some amazing things.
The Google Arts & Culture site is a gold mine of virtual museum tours. This online platform will connect you with over 2,000 museums from 80 countries. Art, culture, history, and science will be at your fingertips. I think you will be amazed at the diversity of offerings. You can sort them alphabetically and also view a map that shows geographic locations. I found at least 15 that I had already visited., but you could visit a different one every day for a year and still have more to see!
Some of these museums are close to us in Ohio – the Toledo Art Museum, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont. Others are worlds away – from Australia to Uzbekistan and everywhere in between. I found several that I know I will go back to visit virtually – including the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, and the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. So many others piqued my curiosity – whether it was the topic or the location: the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Netherlands; the Art Museum of Estonia; and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, just to name a few. I’m looking forward to more exploration, and like the imaginary road trip, maybe someday I will get to visit more of these museums in person.
Virtual museum tours are a way to exercise your creative wellness, one of many wellness dimensions. Creative wellness has been called the missing link in boosting well-being. Research shows that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer or a creator, can enhance a person’s mood and thus they play a role in reducing stress. Taking time to appreciate others’ creative efforts help us to appreciate the world around us, connect with others, and may inspire our own creative spirit. Expressing your emotions and views through the arts can be a great way to practice self-care and to cultivate social connections.
Today’s Take-Away: Visit the Google Arts & Culture website, find a least one museum that interests you, and invite a friend or family member to take a virtual tour with you.
Visit the Ohio 4-H Mental Health Month page for more resources, and come back here for more information and ideas.
Yours in Health,
Theresa Ferrari, Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development