Art transcends boundaries, including time and distance. To wit: The newly launched Google Art Project is an interactive gallery that lets you visit the world's best museums, from the comfort of your own computer.
Using Google Street View, enter any of the 17 participating museums (including the Tate Britain, the Uffizi and MoMA, to name a few) and take a literal 360-degree "stroll" from piece to piece. Stop and stare, or keep it moving. Meanwhile, annotated notes detail the artist's life and work--for instance, how to spot hidden messages like the one in Chris Ofili's No Woman, No Cry.
Plus, you can experience permanent collections and rotating exhibitions. Our current pick: Andrey Rublev's arresting medieval paintings at Moscow's State Tretyakov Gallery.
A handy search-tool helps you locate specific works, artists, exhibitions or aesthetics, while the high-resolution zoom-feature gets you mega-close to minuscule details of your favorites (just when we thought we couldn't get any closer, we noticed tiny fiber-particles on the canvas).
But the most awesome part about the Google Art Project: There's not a single line or red-velvet rope to hold you back.