Locomotion, Shildon, UK
Trains!!! But, not just trains, all the objects and stories that shape the history of railways. Locomotion, a sister site to the National Railway Museum and part of the UK’s Science Museum group, tells these stories online in a series of articles and collection highlights.
Shildon was not the site of this museum by chance, as this article explains. In it, the factors that led to Shildon being christened the “cradle” of railways are explored via a mix of items from the museum’s collection and research notes. If you already have some familiarity with the history, click the “show story contents” box near the top right of your screen to jump to other topics of interest. Locomotion takes a similar multimedia, interactive article approach with other subjects, like life in the town of Shildon and the genesis of the locomotive known as Stephenson’s Rocket.
Shorter-form blog-style posts by museum staff share complementary history tidbits – with a spotlight on ‘trainspotting’ as a pastime, the system of train numbering, and the stereotypes of railway enthusiasm.
If you can’t get enough, be sure to explore the collection items for more detailed object-by-object histories. I personally enjoyed learning about this snow plough, and this cattle van. Find ones that surprise you!
V21 ArtSpace: Virtual tours of various museums and venues
V21 is the company behind many of the virtual tours shared in our Digital Destinations pages, and they have aggregated their work on virtual exhibitions and spaces pages for easy access. Though you can browse and select at your leisure, TMA recommendations include:
- Newstead Abbey’s September 2019 Exhibitions; go back in time a bit and catch the renowned portrait of Lord Byron by Thomas Phillips, plus nine late-Georgian prints from the British Museum’s collection, on display from the Abbey’s showcase of satire.
- Leonardo da Vinci: A Life In Drawing; ranging across fields from painting, sculpture, architecture, and music, to anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany, Da Vinci’s drawings and other works on paper feel closer than ever in this virtual exhibition.
- Objects of Love, Hope and Fear: a World Collection; the Derby Museum and Art Gallery displayed over 1400 objects that build on the exhibitions central themes: Consume, Believe, Create, Conflict, Furnish, Adorn and Communicate. At times comforting and at times challenging, this exhibition is an affecting one.
Valeri Larko at Pelham Art Center and Intersect Aspen
If you enjoyed our coverage of Larko’s work earlier this year, there is little else needed to recommend her upcoming virtual shows. The first – at Intersect Aspen as part of the Lyons Wier Gallery – begins July 22 at 2 PM EST and continues to July 26. The show will consist of virtual viewing rooms, now for many of us a familiar way to experience art, as well as talks and events are that scheduled throughout the week to complement them. Intersect Aspen is a free event; though email registration is required. Larko will also appear in a virtual open studio hosted by the Pelham Art Center at 5 PM EST on July 23. She will share the stories behind her paintings and take questions from the audience. As the event is a fundraiser, the cost to attend is $10.00, and advance registration is required here.
Charles Dickens Museum, London, UK
The Charles Dickens Museum does not simply celebrate Dickens’ work, but instead offers new insights and discoveries about literature, publishing, and life in the 19th century with Dickens as the focal point. This effort shines especially bright in their video and blog posts, and we have collected a few we don’t think you should miss:
- For the love of Pickwick: Artist Anna Marongiu and the Pickwick Papers by Emma Treleaven: Treleaven, assistant curator at the Dickens Museum, shows us how the authors’ work inspired impressive efforts by an artist with little remaining extant work.
- For those interested in book bindings and publishing history, the museum’s collection of video and essays on the topic will not disappoint! You can listen to The Ill Fated Binding of ‘The Rubaiyat’ by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, learn about the first cloth bound books, or learn about how Dickens experimented with color in A Christmas Carol.
- Anyone else with pudding on their brain? The museum has collected information about class in Victorian cookbooks, and partnered with Pen Vogler, a food historian, for videos of famous Dickensian dishes: Christmas pudding, gingerbread, and toasted cheese.
With more than 100,000 items to explore, including furniture, personal effects, paintings, prints, photographs, letters, manuscripts, and rare editions, the online collections are also well worth a visit. Browse by themes if you’re at a loss as to where to start.
Arizona State Museum
Arizona State Museum presents its Online Exhibitions into two formats: image and text and virtual tours. Both offer enjoyable dives into the museum’s collections, and there is no shortage of either. TMA favorites include:
- Virtual tour of Woven Through Time: American Treasures of Native Basketry and Fiber Art: basket weaving and textile weaving share fundamental similarities but the lack of a loom in the case of basket weaving makes for interesting differences. The virtual tour explores this, as well as other insights in fiber art, and includes well over 100 beautiful objects.
- Virtual tour of the Pottery Vault: thinking about our recent coverage of the work of Lucy M. Lewis, an Acoma Pueblo Potter, ceramics are not far from our minds here at TMA. The vault contains examples from across 2,000 years, and has been recognized as the largest, most comprehensive, and best documented collection in the region. The tour includes both images, texts, and links to accompanying YouTube video coverage of select items.
- Hopi Katsina Dolls: Changing Styles, Enduring Meanings: this exhibition focuses on changes to the carving of Hopi katsina tithu from the late 19th century onward and the catalogue has been made available digitally. Be sure to run your mouse over each page to zoom in for easier reading!