Arts on the Internet

(Last updated 27 September 2020)

We can’t meet as usual yet but we are now holding on-line lectures, which have been very successful.  Meanwhile, there are lots of things we can do on the internet to alleviate art withdrawal symptoms! Scroll down here to find links to: Lectures and Talks, Featured Artists, Exhibitions, Art Quiz, Theatre, Opera, Ballet and Musical performances, Virtual Tours of museums and galleries, Gardens and Members’ Recommendations.  We’ll keep updating it; so check back for new ideas.


Added recently

  • National Arts Society talks – new monthly series on a Friday lunchtime, next one on 23 October. Full details here.
  • Petworth Festval On-line – 16 October – 1 November
  • The Royal Opera House -several performance available for you to buy to view on line
  • Simon Schama’s BBC TV series on The Romantics and Us on iPlayer.
  • Sky Arts TV channel  now available on Freeview – no subscription needed.

We’re also putting new suggestions in our on-line discussion forum for TAS Grayshott, where your own comments and ideas are very welcome. Click here for the forum, which is on The Arts Society’s new AS Connected website, where you can also read about and contribute to wider subjects.  We also have  our own  our Facebook page, where you can comment here

For many more ideas, the Arts Society have also put on their new website a wide range of links to websites of interest. Click here

THIS MONTH’S FEATURED ARTIST – Continuing our recent British theme, our Featured Artist this month is Bernard Leach, one of the most influential potters of the 20th C, often known as the Father of British Studio Pottery. You can have a look at a 1960s BBC film narrated by him here (albeit in black and white). For some images of his pots see the Tate’s website, while there’s a full history at  the Leach Pottery

Bernard Leach – Fish Vase  – Tate
 Bernard Leach – LionTile  – Tate












Donations to the Arts. All arts organisations, such as theatres, opera houses, orchestras, museums, galleries and more are suffering financially from the pandemic. While there are very many good causes to support in these times, if you are in a position to make any donations, you may like to consider including one or more arts organisations.

PETWORTH FESTIVAL – 16 October – 1 November

Petworth have re-invent their annual festival on-line. They have signed up a range of celebrated musicians, singers and writers to deliver performance and talks on-line and available to view live on the day and until 7 November.  Includes Howard Shelley, James Naughtie, Joanna Trollope, Kenneth Baker, the London Mozart Players, Michael Morpurgo, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Tamsin Little and many more. See their programme and book for events by clicking here .


Arts Society Lectures Your membership also entitles you to view a new programme of monthly one hour free on-line talks on a Friday lunchtime. Next oneon 23rd October. Details here. The earlier fortnightly short talks have now finished but you can still watch them here.

On a Friday night (and available thereafter) you can take Cocktails with a Curator at New York’s Frick Collection while he or she talks about a painting.  (Cocktail recipes supplied!)

Stella Lyons’ s Friday morning talks have now finished but  she’ll be back in the aurtumn.Keep an eye on her website here

Sian Walters, one of AS’s and the National Gallery’s top lecturers and who gave us our own first on-line lecture, has been giving brilliant free live talks about a different painting every week. She’s paused for the summer now but click on her Art History in Focus page and you can see all of them.

The National Gallery has many free video talks. So does the Tate – click here.

HENI Talks These are short talks that are free to view on the internet. HENI is an international art services business working with leading artists and estates across publishing, print-making, digital, film and art research. Click here .


Many museums and galleries are offering free to view tours of recent or past exhibitions or films about them. Here are some examples of currrent on-line exhibitions:

Compton Verney – has a new exhibition about Cranach

The British Museum had to postpone its big exhibition about the Arctic: Culture and Climate but has highlights and videos to view on line

V and A has a wonderful exhibition about Kimonos. Click here to read about the exhibition with many pictures and several videos.

The Royal Academy of Arts have a virtual tour of their collection as well as a 40 minute virtual tour of their Picasso and Paper exhibition, which had to close owing to the  virus, and, new this month, a virtual tour of the Ai Weiwei exhibition.

Tate Modern has a short film and exhibition guide about their current Andy Warhol exhibition

If you were planning to go to the Tutankhamun exhibition but missed out because of the lockdown, you can get a flavour of it at here.  There’s also a good BBC documentary on their YouTube channel here.

The Ashmolean has an on-line exhibition about The Young Rembrandt as well as pictures and videos from its recent exhibition Last Supper in Pompei

Big Art Quiz

Julian Halsby, Chairman of The Arts Society Sherborne, has put together an excellent quiz, which has kindly been shared with others. Find it attached here. It’s not easy!  The answers are now available at the bottom of this page but try not to peek too quickly….


The National Theatre has now finished its programme of recorded performances free to view on the internet but What’s On stage also has a long list of free screenings of plays, shows and musicals.

Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company are collaborating with the BBC to show several of their performances here on iPlayer, including Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing , The Tempest  and Romeo and Juliet.


The Royal Opera House  has several performance available for you to buy to view on line from £3 – £16

There’s also Operavision – click here for a wide range of opera performances


Many world famous museums and galleries have virtual tours that you can access for free by going to their websites.  Google Arts and Culture  also showcases artworks from museums and galleries worldwide on a major website with suggestions for all sorts of art activities as well. Go to it here

Recommendations for ones you like are very welcome. Here are a few  suggestions:

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – take the virtual tour – don’t miss the Burne-Jones room and the Staffordshire Hoard

Kettles Yard, Cambridge, former home of Jim and Helen Ede – take the virtual tour here too

Petra, Pyramids, Angkor Wat, Taj Mahal, Venicetake virtual tours

The Fan Museum at Greenwich

The Musée D’Orsay 

Monet’s Water Lilies at the Orangerie – a virtual tour

While you are in Paris, why not go up the Eiffel Tower and see the views?

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The Courtauld Gallery, currently closed for refurbishment anyway, has a wonderful collection, especially noted for Impressionists.

The Frick Collection  of paintings, sculpture, and fine and decorative art of all sorts is housed in Henry Clay Frick’s former mansion on New York’s Fifth Avenue. It also has Friday night talks with a curator.

Dulwich Picture Gallery has a number of short films to view. Have a look at artist Lachlan Goudie taling about John Singer Sergeant’s lovely watercolours.

The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston has an extraordinary collection  of world-class art works from ancient times to the 20th C. Collected by one woman with a love of art – and a great deal of money –  and  housed in a purpose built house in the style of an Italian palazzo. Look at Google’ s virtual tour and explore anything you’re interested in in more detail on the museum’s website. Make sure you look at the amazing upper rooms (including the ceilings)

Fancy a virtual trip to Florence? Go to the Uffizi with links to the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens too.

Or lift your spirits with Sorolla’s wonderful effects of light at the  Sorolla Museum in Madrid.

Closer to home, take a trip to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle and see Holman-Hunt, John Martin, Henry Moore and others.


The National Garden Scheme has a huge range of virtual garden visitsas well as much more.

For more garden ideas have a look at Waddesdon Manor’s gardens or try this video about Prince Charles’s Highgrove House, with Alan Titchmarsh.


Sky Arts TV channel has many excellent programmes and from is now available on freeview – no need to have a Sky Subscription.

Simon Schama’s BBC TV series on The Romantics and Us on iPlayer.

Art in Persia – an excellent series well presented by Samira Ahmed and available on BBC 4 iplayer

The Joy of Painting  – also on BBC 4 iplayer – American painter Bob Russ paints landscapes in half an hour mostly with a 2- inch brush and a scraper. Oddly fascinating.

Museums in Quarantine  on BB4  and Grayson Perry’s Art Club on Channel 4 both on catch up

The Guardian Arts Page on-line  Several members have recommended the Guardian newspaper’s on-line arts page. It’s free to view.  Here’s a link.

Coursera offers on-line courses by universities, some free, in a wide range of subjects including art and art  history. Click here to see some of the courses offered.

Philip Mould – Art In Isolation on YouTube  A series of 10 short talks in which Philip Mould talks about his personal art collection. Philip owns a gallery in Pall Mall and is a well-known writer and TV presenter. Here’s a link to the full series –  scroll down on the page to view the different episodes.

The Ghent Altarpiece by Van Eyck  Some of you will remember that when we stopped in Ghent on our way to Amsterdam in 2015, we weren’t able to see the famous Altarpiece, which was being restored. There are lovely pictures, close ups and details of the restoration now. Click here. You can also see anexcellent short film about the recent Van Eyck in Ghent exhibition  presented by Waldemar Januszczak

The London Symphony Orchestra and from the other side of the world the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra  (Listen to a virtual choir singing Walzing Matilda – very moving.) The Royal Albert Hall is also streaming performances by mainly individual artists.

Doodlechaos  For an unusual bit of fun while listening to music, try ‘Doodlechaos’. Here’s Beethoven’s 5th

Lots more – classical and others – at


To see the answers, click here