Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Virtual Tourist

It is summer in State College, and while I do love this town, there are times when I get itchy feet to get out and do “city” things. One of my favorite things to do in a city is wander through an art gallery and just soak in the presence of the masters (with a foamy cappuccino, of course). When I lived in the Bay Area, the Legion of Honor was my favorite museum to go and percolate in. We here in State College do have some of the world’s best museums within a few hours, but if you want to nip out for just an afternoon, it can be tough. The great thing about the internet age, though, is the virtual collections available on the web are incredible. It can’t compare to standing in the West Ground Gallery of the National Gallery of Art and looking at the Voyage of Life in all of its glory, but virtual visits to some of the most amazing collections in the world certainly gives me a flavor of city-dwelling.

I encountered a wonderful website recently that collects the web addresses of online collections. The website, hosted by Coudal Partners, a Chicago-based advertising firm, is called the Museum of Online Museums. The site links to the virtual collections of museums all over the world, check it out.

If online galleries are just not for you, State College will be swelling with throngs of art-lovers in just nine days. The forty-second annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts kicks off on July 9th.

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