Where to get your cultural fix in Brisbane and beyond – the museums and galleries to explore IRL and online
UPDATE March 23, 2020: As of Monday March 23, Museum of Brisbane is temporarily closed. Follow MoB feed or the MoB Facebook page for updates and exciting content to enjoy from home. The MoB Shop remains open for all postal orders.
SECOND UPDATE March 23, 2020: As of Monday March 23, QAGOMA is temporarily closed. Follow QAGOMA on Facebook and Instagram for updates and to stay inspired. Follow, comment and share using the hashtag #homewithQAGOMA. The online QAGOMA Store remains operational with every purchase supporting the Gallery.
Look, no one is in denial at this point — the world is a strange place at the moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought almost everything in our usual routine to a halt, shutting down some of our favourite places to go and forcing a lot of us into self-distance mode or even self isolation. In this time more than ever, we long for distraction in the form entertainment and Brisbane’s vibrant arts and culture scene is still here to help. Whether you want a dose of modern history, contemporary art or a mix of both, there’s still a bunch of places open around Brisbane for you to explore. For those who can’t make it out of the house (and boredom is slowly taking its toll), there are countless virtual cultural experiences you can access – all from the comfort of your couch.
If your internal monologue is still nagging for its feed of cultural sustenance, then Brisbane has you covered with plenty of museums and galleries still open for business. In the city, Museum of Brisbane remains open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, showcasing its major exhibition High Rotation, which offers visitors a backstage pass to three decades of Brisbane’s incredible music scene from 1989–2019. Across the river, QAGOMA remains open with cinema screenings as scheduled, however, all public programs, events and tours have been cancelled until further notice. If you’re yet to dive deep into QAGOMA’s summer blockbuster exhibition Water, now is the chance to check out this interactive exhibition. From major immersive experiences like the vast, rocky ‘Riverbed’ created by Olafur Eliasson to smaller-scale works such as Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s truly frosty ‘Snowman’, Water highlights our most precious resource and sparks conversations on the critical challenges of climate change. Whilst you’re in the area, enjoy a moment of serenity at Queensland Art Gallery, where more than 40 awe-inspiring works from prominent Indigenous weaver-turned-painter Mavis Ngallametta await as part of QAG’s newest exhibition Mavis Ngallametta: Show Me the Way to Go Home.
For those who are self distancing but are still craving a dose of creative goodness, there are 2500 world-class museums and galleries that are now offering virtual tours and online collections, so you can curate your next cultural outing from the comforts of your lounge room. Travel (virtually, of course) to Museum Island in Berlin and stop off at the Pergamon Museum, home to the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the Greek Pergamon Altar or make a virtual visit to the The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which famous work’s include the ‘Milkmaid’ by Vermeer and Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’. You can also take a virtual tour at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The National Gallery in London and even the Palace of Versailles. For the full list of museum and art galleries that offer virtual tours, head here.