With museums and cultural institutions shuttered during the pandemic, communications teams have banded together to show support for each other’s collections and brighten art lovers’ days via the #MuseumBouquet hashtag.
Dear @americanart, we wanted to brighten your day with these apple blossoms by American painter Martin Johnson Heade.
— New-York Historical Society (@NYHistory) March 24, 2020
Some museums are expanding their online collections or making existing content more prominent. The Art Institute of Chicago is making it easier for people to access their digital collection, tweeting out its interactive tour of El Greco’s "The Assumption of the Virgin," a staple of their collection. “The goal is to provide a space where people can learn, be inspired and have an escape from their day-to-day in a moment when it’s very difficult to escape,” said Kati Murphy, executive director of public affairs at the Institute.
While the museum is closed, we hope to offer dynamic ways of engaging with art on our gallery walls.
Peel back the layers of "The Assumption of the Virgin," the centerpiece of our exhibition "El Greco: Ambition and Defiance"—https://t.co/5WVZ3RKvGC
— Art Institute (@artinstitutechi) March 18, 2020
Cultural institutions that participated in the floral art-share included The Cleveland Museum of Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. While other sectors might find it harder to band together online, nonprofit cultural institutions have a unique advantage in that different localities would never “compete” for visitors, in the same way that online retail or streaming services might be competing for consumer attention and time. Communicators might find it worthwhile to investigate whether their own business communities can offer each other, and the public, messages of hope while amplifying each others’ online presence and offerings.
— Denver Botanic Gardens (@botanic) March 24, 2020
The effort is an example of solidarity in the nonprofit sector as institutions that rely upon tourism and admissions fees suffer the blow of nonessential business closures. Hopefully, the artwork featured will remind erstwhile museum-goers to visit their favorite institutions as soon as they reopen–not to mention cheering up a morose public.
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