A wise man once said, “We’re the fucking lucky ones”. All in all, I’m feeling pretty lucky that I haven’t had to make huge adjustments on the turn of a dime since I’m used to working from home or remotely anyway. Most of you would likely consider themselves to be some version of fortunate. This post is about how to tap into art remotely when you’re missing all those artists we took for granted.
A Remote Sense of Creativity
Before everything happened, I was supposed to visit a couple of museums and galleries for inspiration for a photography project I’m formulating around immigration and displacement. Lesson learned! I should have visited while I had the chance. What’s been an odd silver lining about this pandemic is that the arts community is really trying to support people by moving quite a bit of their holdings, talent or content online for people to view or participate. Here are a few resources for viewing contemporary and historical art online.
The David Zwirner Gallery has a dedicated online exhibition feature called The Viewing Room, where they publish a new exhibition every month. Last month’s exhibition was On Painting: Art Basel Online. I love Sigmar Polke’s contribution to this collection. Upcoming, they’re featuring artwork from 12 brick and mortar galleries that were meant to be exhibiting artists but had to close suddenly last month. It’s a bit of an apt and eerie reminder of how quickly everything changed. View the Platform: New York exhibition online.
PBS News Hour posted an article entitled 19 Immersive Museum Exhibits You Can Visit From Your Couch. From there I found that all 20 of the Smithsonian museums and galleries have exhibits online. Feel like trawling? They’ve also put 2.8 million 2-D and 3-D images online to search and use for free via the Smithsonian Open Access project.
The Museum of Natural History has virtual tours of exhibitions like wooly mammoths. Go visit your favorite primates, cavemen and specimens from your couch. If you have a VR headset, there are even more special features you can unlock while browsing.
Google Arts & Culture has partnered with over 500 museums to put interactive exhibitions and paintings online. You can explore museums and galleries via Google Street View and paintings have been made interactive with extra bits of information. One of my favorites is Rembrandt’s The Night Watch at The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (pictured above). You can also discover art by art movements. I’ve been wistfully flipping through the Art Nouveau pieces myself.
For Those With Tiny (Human) Creatures At Home
Several outlets would be great for those with kids to use as teaching tools or ways to entertain your kids. Scavenger hunts through the Museum of Natural History virtual tours to spot certain types of bones or specimens should keep your creatures busy for a while. The Whitney Museum helps you explore different artists, artwork, and movements via audio guides they created for 6 – 10-year-olds. Pictured left is Stuart Davis’ Owh! In San Pao at The Whitney.
Remind Yourself of What Outside Looks Like…
If you’re more into nature ’n shit, Google Arts & Culture also has a whole feature called The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks in collaboration with the U.S. National Park Service to bring you inside different parks like Carlsbad Caverns.
I hope these are helpful for easing some of your quarantine-based restlessness!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Okin is a lead user experience designer and service designer who uses design thinking for the public good and the good of your business. Please visit her website to learn more about her great work.