You may not be able to stroll through your favorite museum right now, but you can make a few cinematic stops at home. Here are some of the most impressive galleries shot on film:
The Louvre Museum (or just, 'the Louvre') is the world’s most famous museum and serves as the backdrop for the first big fashion shoot for recruited model Audrey Hepburn in this classic musical featuring the songs of George Gershwin. Hepburn’s big descent in front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace is still a moment for the ages.
Alfred Hitchcock’s haunting suspense masterpiece takes place in a dreamy, ghost-laden San Francisco and surrounding areas, with a key painting visited frequently by James Stewart at the Legion of Honor, a part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
How To Steal a Million
Audrey Hepburn’s other big museum movie is this charming caper comedy, which pairs her up with Peter O’Toole in the story of an art forger’s daughter — who is whisked through some of the most elegant Parisian settings around with plenty of art history along the way.
Dressed to Kill
Brian De Palma’s flamboyant murder mystery features a number of eye-popping highlights including Angie Dickinson’s unforgettable game of seductive cat and mouse through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Don’t be fooled, though. The film might be set in New York City, but they actually shot that scene at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This iconic teen movie isn’t just the ultimate hooky day — it’s also a priceless snapshot of mid-1980s Chicago including a lyrical time out as Ferris and friends visit the Art Institute in Chicago. As you might recall, the scene features a very deep look at Georges Seurat’s legendary painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
The Thomas Crown Affair
The original 1968 film with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway may be the coolest caper film around, but the 1999 one gives you several museum trips to remember with Pierce Brosnan targeting the Metropolitan Museum of Art (with studio sets and the New York Public Library subbing in for interior shots). Or does he…?
American history gets an adventure movie makeover in this popular treasure hunt film starring Nicolas Cage, which also allows you to skip the lines and pay a visit to Washington D.C.’s National Archives Museum (which is home to the Declaration of Independence).
The Da Vinci Code
Back to the Louvre again, who granted permission to director Ron Howard and company to shoot on the premises for this big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling thriller. However, they had to use a replica of the crucial Mona Lisa painting due to potential damage from the lighting.
Night at the Museum
If you ever wondered what happens in a museum after closing hours, here’s a fanciful answer in this Ben Stiller family film featuring a painstaking recreation of New York City’s American Museum of Natural History (though the real location plays itself for all the exteriors).
Midnight In Paris
Woody Allen's immensely-creative peak at Parisian history won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, as well. Discover the city's rich, artistic history with Owen Wilson's character — as he pays a visit to the Musée de l'Orangerie and The Rodin Museum — amongst many other famous sites in Paris.