Launched in November 2019, this app allows digital access to a range of arts and cultural institutions, from London’s dramatic Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE to The Frick Collection art museum in New York. Expect expert digital guides to the exhibits along with audiovisual commentary from artists and curators. You can even head outdoors virtually for an immersive tour of Manhattan’s Central Park buildings and monuments and learn about the early-19th-century residents who owned property at the park’s edge. Of special note at The Frick — “Cocktails with a Curator,” a themed series on Fridays with curators sharing insights on artworks while sipping a bevvy with the viewer — remotely, of course.

Free for smartphone (iOS only).


This fun and functional app has something for everyone, with its catalogue of 2,000+ museums, galleries and artworks in 80 countries, including The British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki, Japan. Locate a favourite piece of art and zoom in to get up close and personal or visit the augmented-reality gallery to project 3-D models into your own world. Test out the app’s other impressive tools — Art Projector (to display works, gallery-style, in your home), Art Transfer (to transform your personal photos into classic art pieces) and Art Selfie (to find your doppelgänger by browsing famous portrait paintings). Art Zoom, a user favourite, offers audiovisual tours with celebrities as your guides — say, FKA twigs, Matty Healy and Canadians Feist and Grimes.

Free for smartphone, tablet (iOS, Android).


A virtual visit to this iconic art museum in Paris includes guided tours of its permanent collection as well as temporary exhibits such as the riotously coloured Observatory of Light (2016–17) by conceptual artist Daniel Buren and, more recently, a retrospective of photographer-filmmaker Cindy Sherman, known for her enigmatic social-critique self-portraits. Architecture buffs are invited to soar for the bird’s-eye view of the Frank Gehry–designed structure and listen to audio commentary from its builders. For those who prefer their feet on terra firma and their app Calm, the Getaway Tour promises a relaxing visit with a soothing voice to guide them through the permanent collection, explaining philosophical messages behind each work.

Free for smartphone (iOs, Android).


At 170,000 square feet, the SFMOMA is one of the largest art museums in the U.S., which makes an in-person visit overwhelming. Its new Audio app provides a pleasant, more manageable alternative. Opt for the 15-to-45-minute “immersive walks” with engaging commentary from a diverse range of voices that include not just artists and curators, but also dancers, musicians, TV personalities and even baseball players.

Free for smartphone, tablet (iOS, Android).


Almost like being there, the app designed for the Musée de beaux-arts de Montréal combines practical information related to live gallery visits with in-depth virtual tours of current exhibitions and the permanent collection. The virtual tour allows visitors to “walk” through the rooms self-guided, while the musical audio guide enhances a pop into the Hornstein Pavilion for Peace with its focus on international art. Explore the Jean-Paul Riopelle exhibition “The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures,” which runs until May 2, 2021.

Free for smartphone, tablet (iOS, Android).


Written by Tracey Ho Lung. This article was originally published in Insight Magazine: Spring 2021 Edition: The Leaders Issue. 

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