Arts on the Internet

(Last updated 31 July  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 (scroll down for links )

  • latest Arts Society talks
  • Cranach at Compton Verney
  • Arctic: Culture and Climate at British Museum
  • Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy
  • The BBC Proms and Beethoven documentary series
  • new Theatre, Ballet and Opera performances
  • Fan Museum at Greenwich – virtual tour
  • Waddesdon Manor Gardens – virtual tour
  • The Joy of Painting – BBC 4 series

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 – Dame Laura Knight. One of Britain’s best impressionist painters, she is our featured artist this month. Her paintings of sunlit summer scenes in Cornwall seem appropriate for the season. See this charming video of some of her paintings, with music by Gerald Finzi. Those who came to our Special Interest Day on The Newlyn School a few years ago will remember her work. She was also a talented portrait painter, exemplified by the exquisite painting of Joan Rhodes that was in a small exhibition at the RA that I managed to see shortly before lockdown.

Laura Knight – Joan Rhodes
Laura Knight – The Beach 1909

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 last was a fascinating talk by Irving Finkel about  Rescuing unwanted diaries!  You can see this, as well as earlier and future talks, by clicking on this link . The next one is

  • 4 August: Viv Lawes: 18th century hand-painted Chinese export silks: trade and technique – with live painting demonstration

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!)

Stella Lyons who talked to us about Norwegian in July does talks on the internet every Friday morning at 11am. You need to register and pay £7.50 here. Her next one will be on Friday 7 August on Hogarth’s Harlots. Her website is 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. 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).


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:

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….


It’s time for the Proms, the BBC Promenade Concerts – mainly previous concerts but also some live ones. Click here for the schedule.

Plus Being Beethoven series on BB4 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of his death. Catch up on iPlayer

The National Theatre and Royal Opera House are suspending their recorded performances free to view on the internet, though you can still catch The Royal Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty until  6 August.Click here

However,  Glyndebourne are still going strong. Click here for:

  • Falstaff  – 26 July – 2 August
  • The Rake’s Progress 2- 9 August
  • Guilio Cesare – 9- 16 August
  • Hamlet – 16-23 August
  • The Fairy Queen – 23 – 30 August

Operavision click here for a wide range of opera performances

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.

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 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.


For garden ideas have a look at Waddesdon Manor’s gardens or 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.


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