Go to an Art Museum Day, Virtually

November 9 every year is Go to an Art Museum Day!

But maybe if you’re busy or not up for crowds (I’m still picky about the places I’m willing to bother putting on pants to go to, I get it), today might be a perfect day for a long overdue installment of virtual museum tours.

While Go to an Art Museum Day allows you to be a tourist in your own town, virtual museum tours allow you to explore all sorts of exotic locations without ever having to get on an airplane (and that’s always a win).

Since today is also Kitten Tuesday, I thought it would be appropriate to take this opportunity to explore a few of the numerous cat museums around the world.

Numerous? Yes, I was surprised too.

The Cat Museum of San Francisco

When I was doing research for International Cat Day, I came across the Cat Museum of San Francisco. What!?!?!  Why hadn’t I heard of this wonderful place before? Mom, sister, and I used to regularly make our ballet season weekends a cultural extravaganza with a visit to one of San Francisco’s great museums included in our itinerary of shopping, fine dining, and performing arts. Why had we never visited the Cat Museum?

It turns out that the Cat Museum of San Francisco is not a place, but an idea.

While I have to admit that I am disappointed to learn that there is not an actual, physical, cat museum in San Francisco, I am beyond delighted at the fact that this is a museum of the mind and of the heart.

Cat Museums Around the World

It turns out that San Francisco is not the only city with a dedicated cat museum. There are actually quite a few cat museums around the world.

The Maneki Neko Art Museum in Okayama, Japan is dedicated to the Japanese Lucky Cat and boasts over 700 examples. The figure, which originated in the 19th century, can be portrayed with either the right paw (to attract more visitors) or left paw (to attract more money) raised or both.

In Montenegro, the Cats Museum of Kotor has an extensive collection of vintage cat memorabilia – cigar rings, books (even a lace bookmark with cats), art depicting cats in human clothes/situations, the list goes on. This museum has a few video/slideshows of various works from the collection, like this 2-minute option.

The Kattenkabenet in Amsterdam has its entire collection available to view online. The collection is organized by type of work (sculpture, painting, posters, etc.) and you can click on any piece you find interesting to get more information about it. There is also a page with biographical information about artists who painted cats as their subject. Unfortunately, its virtual tours are presented in Adobe Flash Player which is an outdated format that I don’t recommend installing.

Although not technically a cat museum, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida does boast having approximately 60 six-toed cats living on the premises.

Outside of Asheville, North Carolina is the American Museum of the House Cat, which was founded by Dr. Harold Sims (aka Cat Man 2) to showcase his collection of cat memorabilia as well as raise money for a local cat shelter. One way to experience the American Museum of the House Cat is through this 12-minute documentary.

Skip to 3:50 to watch an adorable toy cat automaton ironing.

Other ways to celebrate Go to an Art Museum Day

If cat museums aren’t your thing, you can still participate in Go to an Art Museum Day from home. Why not try:

  • Looking up a subject, artist, or museum that you have always wanted to know more about (I’d love to hear what you decide to look up).
  • Pick up a book about art.
  • Make some art yourself, even if it’s just one inch.

Of course, if you are fortunate enough to have cats at home, you can just take the opportunity today to appreciate them like the great masterpieces they are!

4 Replies to “Go to an Art Museum Day, Virtually”

  1. What a treat. You did all the research for us cat ‍⬛ fanciers.
    I always wondered what the Japanese Gold cat with raised paw was all about. Now I know, now I have to get me one.

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