In response to COVID, many of the arts organizations across the U.S. are working hard to maintain their facilities, buildings and finances not to mention staff and collections. A few of the largest museums we looked at are not only rising to the challenge but are creating substantive online programs to continue to care for their communities. These online tours, programs, videos are expansive and offer a bridge that reach across the virtual troughs and complexities and social distancing required of the Corona virus.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City is offering an amazing array of online tours, videos and movies, and best of all, courses. You can learn about fashion as a design course or how the top painters of the 20th century created their masterpieces in their studios. There are nine courses available through Coursera and they are available to everyone from the beginner art student to people with sophisticated knowledge.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) also in New York City is offering a fantastic range of digital exhibitions. Starting with the exhibitions primers which include background information on the installations and their subjects. For example in the arms and armor collection, you can discover how Maximilian I transformed himself from a political lightweight to one of the most powerful rulers in all of European history. In the extraordinary exhibit on the German artist Gerhard Richter, you can explore with Richter in an interview and video why he paints, why people paint and what art does. There are also a plethora of audio tours of Met exhibitions from the past and present, including an extraordinary architectural tour via an audio guide of the Met Breuer and another audio tour of the new British galleries and you can hear curators, conservators, and contemporary artists uncover the surprising stories and politics behind British art.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is offering virtual tours of its collections while the Art Institute of Chicago is taking an innovative approach in that visitors can filter their experience and visit according to topics, colors and mediums. Maybe you only want to look at all things red, orange or beige? Online learning for free is also available at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Two of the three courses are earmarked for educators, including Visions of War and Art and Social Justice, because LACMA devotes part of its digital strengths toward educating students and teachers. Stay tuned for more streaming arts communities