With social distancing being enforced to ensure the safety of others during the coronavirus pandemic, museums around the world have decided to showcase their latest exhibitions online for individuals to view from home. From The Smithsonian Museums and galleries in Washington D.C. and New York, to the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, to the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, we take a look at some of these exhibits and how you can view them online.
Explore The Smithsonian Museum And Galleries Online
From expositions such as “Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field,” to “Forgotten Workers: Chinese Migrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad,” to “Superheroes,” individuals can explore what these exhibits have to offer by visiting: https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/online and clicking on the exhibits you want to see online.
“Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field,” is a look at photo essays by Native American photojournalists Russel Albert Daniels and Tailyr Irvine in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian. The work of both photographers’ springs from the same desires—to break down stereotypes of Native peoples and to portray stories that show the diversity and complexity of their contemporary lives, according to the museum’s website.
“Daniels and Irvine explore issues that have long been of personal interest and that touch the lives of Native people in a specific community. Through, never-before-seen photography, each photo essay provides thought-provoking insights into 21st-century Native life and a nuanced perspective on an American experience that is largely invisible to mainstream society.”
For more information about this exhibit or to view it online go to: https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/developing-stories-native-photographers-field:event-exhib-6519 or https://americanindian.si.edu/developingstories/.
Marking the 150th anniversary of this groundbreaking project, “Forgotten Workers: Chinese Migrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad,” explores the completion of a critical episode in the development of the American West, while “Hidden Workers” focuses on the forgotten Chinese workers who built the western leg of the railroad across the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A large floor graphic maps the United States so that visitors can walk the Transcontinental Railroad route. A display describes how the railroad was a catalyst for positive change but displaced Native Americans and caused the near extinction of the American buffalo, according to the museum’s website.
For more information about this exhibit or to view it online go to: https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/forgotten-workers-chinese-migrants-and-building-transcontinental-railroad:event-exhib-6332 or https://americanhistory.si.edu/american-enterprise-exhibition/new-perspectives/forgotten-workers.
“Superheroes,” showcases a rotating showcase that examines the evolution of superheroes through comic books, original graphic art, movie and television costumes, props, and memorabilia, most of them from the museum’s collections. Currently featured items include Lynda Carter’s costume from her portrayal of Wonder Woman in the 1970s television series and a La Borinqueña costume from the 2016 New York Puerto Rican Day Parade, according to the museum’s website.
For more information about this exhibit or to view it online go to: https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/superheroes:event-exhib-6359 or https://americanhistory.si.edu/superheroes
The exhibits mentioned above are just a few of the exhibits you can visit online. According to the museum’s website you can look at exhibits from nearly all 20 museums and galleries of the Smithsonian Institute, offering visitors the chance to explore countless exhibitions that focus on different themes, concepts and types of art.
Travel to Brazil And See The Exhibits On Display At The Museu de Arte de São Paulo
Google’s Arts & Culture team has been able to work with hundreds of museums and galleries around the world to digitize some of their art collections. This team has transformed the typical museum experience and taken it to a whole new level, online. Well-known museums such as the Guggenheim in New York City and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris are included in this list as one of the many options to choose from on Google’s Arts & Culture team’s website. However, one museum that is a must-see out of this list is the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, which put one of its rarest pieces on display as part of this project.
The piece in question is a painting from 1850 titled, “Paulo Afonso Waterfall (1850),” by E.F.Schute. It shows a waterfall that demonstrates the awe-inspiring power of nature. This piece is part of an exhibition titled “Art from Brazil until 1900,” which showcases the museum’s Brazilian painting collection, highlighting works from the 17th to 19th century — from the colonial period to the Brazilian Republic. Both European traveling artists and Brazilian academic painters are included, and features portraits and still life pieces, according to the exhibition’s website.
Other exhibits on display through Google’s Arts & Culture Team include the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City, where you can peek into Frida Kahlo’s diary, to Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch,” at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to Lahore Museum‘s collection of Gandhara Art at the Gandhara Gallery in Pakistan, and more.
View More Than 25,000 Works At The Whitney Museum in New York
Explore the Whitney’s collection of over 25,000 works created by more than 3,500 American artists during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries at the Whitney Museum in New York City, online. In addition to viewing works on display, the museum is also offering videos of public programs and performances, as well as audio guides made especially for kids between the ages of 6 and 10 years old for each exhibit, along with tours in American Sign Language for the hearing impaired.
Some of the works on display that can be viewed online on the museum’s website range from “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945,” to Cauleen Smith: Mutualities, to Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 to name a few.
“Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019” focuses on how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft making over the past seven decades, according to the museum’s website. “Some expand techniques with long histories, such as weaving, sewing, or pottery, while others experiment with textiles, thread, clay, beads, and glass, among other mediums. The traces of the artists’ hands-on engagement with their materials invite viewers to imagine how it might feel to make each work.”
Cauleen Smith (b. 1967) draws on experimental film, non-Western cosmologies, poetry, and science fiction to create works that reflect on memory and Afro-diasporic histories, according to the museum’s website. “Mutualities,” the artist’s first solo show in New York, presents two of Smith’s films, Sojourner and Pilgrim — each in a newly created installation environment t—along with a new group of drawings collectively titled Firespitters.
The films unfold across several important sites in Black spiritual and cultural history, weaving together writings by women from different eras, including Shaker visionary, Rebecca Cox Jackson, abolitionist, Sojourner Truth, the 1970s Black feminist organization, the Combahee River Collective, and experimental jazz composer and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane, whose music also forms the soundtrack for both films.
Lastly, “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945,” showcases approximately 200 works by sixty Mexican and American artists, that aims to reorient art history by revealing the profound impact the Mexican muralists had on their counterparts in the United States during the cultural transformation that took place at the end of Mexico’s Revolution in 1920. One of the main themes highlighted in this exhibition is the way the Mexican muralists inspired the American artists to create epic narratives about American history and everyday life, while using their art to protest economic, social, and racial injustices, according to the museum’s website.
Other museums that are offering online exhibitions include: The British Museum, the London, Pergamon Museum, Berlin, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Louvre, Paris, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Dalí Theatre-Museum, Nasa, the Vatican Museums, the National Women’s History Museum, the National Museum of the United States Air Force and more, adding to a total of 2,500 museums offering online exhibits.
With all of these options to choose from we hope this guide helps you plan your own virtual trip around the world’s most iconic museums and inspires you during this time of social distancing. ■