Join Virtual Meetings in Style With These Great Zoom Backgrounds from Museums

Make Meeting an Art Form

Whether you’re working from home and need to connect with co-workers, or self-isolating and catching up with friends, chances are you’re using Zoom more now than you thought you would in a lifetime.

We use Zoom (and other video conference tech) all the time for our many virtual scavenger hunts and trivia games, for groups of all sizes. We’ve already put together tips for using Zoom for remote team activities, including how to change your Zoom background. But what should you change your background to?

When people started staying home in the face of COVID-19, plenty of Zoom backgrounds sprang up from move studios, TV shows, and video games. And now museums have followed suit. Countless museums and cultural organizations have opened up their collections to use as Zoom backgrounds. Here are a few of our favorites.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met Museum offers some iconic sights, like the Greek and Roman Shelby Court, as well as some oddball art. Or you can always cross the Delaware with George Washington. They also have tips for using their images with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Snap Camera.

American Museum of Natural History

On the other side of Central Park, the Museum of Natural History’s Zoom backgrounds highlight animals, dinosaurs, space, and their famous blue whale.

Central Park Conservancy

Speaking of Central Park, you can download Zoom backgrounds and mobile wallpapers featuring such sights as Bethesda Terrace, the Shakespeare Garden, and Gapstow Bridge.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The MFA has prepared a selection of Claude Monet’s paintings, including some of his famed water lilies, as well as instructions for using them in Zoom.

New-York Historical Society

Among this museum’s digital offerings, you’ll find Zoom backgrounds that include a view of Ebbets Field in 1914, a look inside an 18th century saloon, and this landscape by Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church.

Getty Center

The Getty Center in Los Angeles has prepared a wide selection of Zoom backgrounds featuring landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes, including a view of 18th-century Venice.

Tenement Museum

Beloved for its focus on the history of America’s urban immigrants, New York City’s Tenement Museum suggests you patch into your next virtual meeting from the Rogarshevsky family parlor, a slew of old-timey kitchens, and even this German beer saloon.

Photo credits: dinosaurs by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash; Central Park by Jon Tyson on Unsplash; Tenement Museum by Beyond My Ken / CC BY-SA (