Arts on the Internet

(Last updated 23 May 2020)

We can’t meet as usual yet but from next month we will be holding on-line lectures.  Meanwhile, there are lots of things we can do on the internet to alleviate art withdrawal symptoms and ward off boredom! Scroll down here to find links to: Lectures and Talks, 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.

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

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.


Arts Society Lectures The Arts Society nationally are making some short lectures available on-line for you to view at home. There are new talks each fortnight – live at 11am on the day and still available to view thereafter. The most recent in the series is by Nicola Moorby, who talked to us about Turner and Constable last January.  Entitled An Artist of Note: Turner and the new £20, it’s a most interesting discussion of the many Turner-related features of the new £20 note. You can see this, as well as earlier and future talks, by clicking on this link . Ones to come:

  • 2 June: Marc Allum, The Anatomy of Collecting
  • 16 June: Rebecca Hossack, Aboriginal Art – recording the Dreamtime
  • 30 June: Sandy Burnett,  Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fit of Rage: when his Third Symphony became the Eroica

Sian Walters, one of AS’s and the National Gallery’s top lecturers, is also giving brilliant free live talks about a different painting every Monday morning at 09.30 but also available to view thereafter.  You can tune in on her Art History in Focus page, where you can also see ones she’s already recorded.

HENI Talks These are short talks that are free to view on the internet. Several members have told me they’ve been enjoying them. HENI is an international art services business working with leading artists and estates across publishing, print-making, digital, film and art research. Click here . One which is a bit different is this one about how art helped the navy in WW1.

You’ll also find in the HENI series a video about Grinling Gibbons’ carving at Petworth House. Jackie Bearman has also found this lovely 15 minute film about Gibbons. Watch it here (NB you’ll need to skip the two ads at the start).

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

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


Many museums and galleries are offering free to view tours of recent or past exhibitions or films about them. Here we offer a featured artist for this month and other examples of currrent on-line exhibitions:

Featured Artist –  Edward Hopper  One of the great American painters of the 20th century, Hopper is especially relevant at this time for his depictions of isolation. The Fondation Beyler in Swizerland has a current exhibition of his work, focusing on landscapes. You can see highlights of the exhibition  described by the curator here For more about Hopper’s life and work , go to Click here for a video montage of many of his paintings.

The Royal Aacdemy of Arts have a 40 minute virtual tour of their current Picasso and Paper exhibition, and  full length films about their wonderful David Hockney shows and about Painting the Modern Garden – Monet to Matisse

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, Royal Opera House, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Chichester Festival Theatre – and many more – have performances free to view on the internet.

National Theatre. Click here for :

  • 21 – 28 May – A Streetcar Named Desire
  • 28 May – 4 June – This House
  • 4 June – 11 June Coriolanus

Royal Opera House. Click here for  :

  • The Winter’s Tale, The Royal Ballet, 2014 – now until 1 June
  • La traviata, The Royal Opera, 2009 – now until 8 June
  • Anastasia, The Royal Ballet, 2016 – now until 28 May
  • Cendrillon (Cinderella) The Royal Opera, 2011 – from 22 May, 7pm
  • The Cellist, The Royal Ballet, 2020 – from 29 May, 7pm
  • Il trittico, The Royal Opera, 2012 – from 5 June, 7pm
  • La Fille mal gardée, The Royal Ballet, 2005 – from 12 June, 7pm
  • The Magic Flute, The Royal Opera, 2017 – from 19 June, 7pm

Glyndebourne are getting in on the act too. They are showing three Mozart operas from 5pm on Sunday afternoons. Click here for:

  • 24 May – The Marriage of Figaro
  • 31 May – Don Giovanni
  • 7 June – Cosi Fan Tutte

Operavision click here for a wide range of opera performances

Chichester Festival Theatre Click here for 

  • The Midnight Gang – from 30 April until 29 May
  • Beauty and the Beast – from 21 May – 19 June

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.

Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals – you can see a free screening  of  one of his musicals every Friday from 7pm. They are then available to view for the next 24 hours.  Click here .

What’s On stage also has a long list of free screenings of plays, shows and musicals


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:

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

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. As wellas the Friday night talks with a curator, it has a virtual tour here

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.

TThe 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.


We may have missed the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year but there’ still been plenty to see at Virtual Chelsea 

For more garden ideas try this video about Prince Charles’s Highgrove House, with Alan Titchmarsh.

The National Garden Scheme also has a range of virtual garden visits as well as much more.


Rebuilding Notre-Dame – there’s an interesting BBC documentary on iPlayer (limited period). Click  here

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

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