This Week’s Destinations for Digital Culture: June 10 to 16

Jenamarie Boots Exhibitions

Detail of Ndiaye and Her Baby by Mayemba, 2004. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

The Wright’s “Wright Now” page gathers their digital offerings in one place. Whether looking for entertainment, education, or inspiration – the Wright has something available!

TMA recommendations from each collection include:

Harlem residents watching a motorcade by Vondel Nichols, 1950. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center has collected its online offerings on the “Digital Schomburg” page of the New York Public Library website. Among the offerings: an events and video archive, podcasts, an oral history collection, and online exhibitions.

Of the many exhibitions available, TMA recommends in particular:

  • Black New Yorkers. This exhibition is an interactive look at 400 years of African-American history in New York, and tells stories with essays, prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, tables, and newspapers. The exhibition can be either keyboard or voice activated – and be sure to click any images to expand them (or download them!).
  • The Emmett Till Project. A comprehensive collection of digital resources built as a 60th anniversary commemoration of the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till; the archives, videos, writings, and podcasts of this collection are an incredibly valuable review.

Be sure to explore the digital collections as well, which includes images of African Americans from the 19th Century and from  Africa and the African Diaspora. More than 11,000 items have been digitized.

View from the digital exhibition An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600s–1819. National Museum of Singapore.

National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore’s most recent online exhibition, An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600s–1819, is an important look at the nation’s pre-colonial to post-colonial history which features items from the personal collections of the Stamford Raffles and William Farquhar families, as well as objects from international museums such as the Royal Collections Trust, London and the museum’s own collection.

The tour can be self-guided or taken with audio guidance from curators Daniel Tham and Iskander Mydin, who focus on the themes of Knowledge and Power, and Seeing the Indigenous. A third, as-yet unreleased, audio tour will be added soon. Each audio tour features a transcript as well; click the button with a speech bubble near the bottom right to read along while the audio plays.

Detail of the east frieze of the Altar: Athena, Pergamon, Turkey, 2nd quarter 2nd century BC. Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museum of Berlin; photograph © bpk – Photo Agency / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Johannes Laurentius.

Museum Island, Berlin, Germany

Five museums – the Altes, Neues, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode, and Pergamonmuseum – have coordinated their collections and virtual tours on Google Arts and Culture.

Altes boasts a magnificent rotunda at its heart; notwithstanding it’s spectacular collection, the rotunda alone is worth a view. Alte Nationalgalerie uses a straightforward arrangement to amplify the works in its collection. Neues completed a restoration in 2009; and it was an impressive process. Bode’s focus is a sculpture collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art; but also houses an impressive collection of coins and medals. Pergamonmuseum houses the famous Pergamon Altar, Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon, and the Mshatta Façade – making it the most “popular” of the five.

Fanciful Bird, Persian. Watercolor on paper. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, bequest of Charles Potter King.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine

BCMA has no shortage of “Visit from Home” options; among them, a rich online collection, and videos of lectures and presentations.

A particularly impressive option – the Publications Archive – includes a number of collection, exhibition, and other miscellaneous materials published by the college. As part of the “Digital Commons” these publications are available for free download or free viewing. The Art of American Furniture: A Portfolio of Furniture in the Collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art catalogue may be one of interest to our readers; the Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College catalogue similarly so.

For a more interactive option, don’t miss the Cratylus mobile app. You can test it in your browser first, here. Created with accessibility in mind, the app lets you join in the process of “tagging” the collection and assigning keywords that will make it easier for others to find those items in the future.

Jenamarie Boots