This Week’s Destinations for Digital Culture

Jenamarie Boots Exhibitions

Striped paletot affiliated with James Radfords and Co Leeds, c. 1860. Wool and silk. Leeds Museums & Galleries, Leeds, UK, purchased and conserved with the aid of the Friends of Leeds City Museums.

Leeds Museums & Galleries, Leeds, UK

The Leeds Museums & Galleries have put together numerous virtual exhibition tours – among them, Florence Nightingale Bicentenary: Inspiration to Genius and Fast x Slow Fashion should appeal to TMA readers.

The Florence Nightingale exhibition, which went live on May 12, marks the International Day of the Nurse as well as Nightingale’s 200th birthday. The show surveys her life and groundbreaking work through a series of photographs and videos. At the end, you can find information to join a community knitting project related to Nightingale and frontline workers battling COVID-19.

Fast x Slow Fashion demonstrates the relationship between clothes shopping and people in Leeds from 1720 to the present day. It includes a history of how clothing shopping has changed, and alternative means of consuming fashion. Included in the “alternative means” are two how-to tutorials for modern consumers: scrunchie making and cropped drawstring sweatshirts. Fun projects with materials at home!

Neo-empire style armchair by George A. Schastey (American, 1839-1894), ca. 1883. © The Richard H. Driehaus Museum; photo by John Faier.

Driehaus Museum, Chicago, IL

The Driehaus’ collection highlights are, indeed, highlights. Be sure to bookmark the page and return to reading as new items are added. An interactive timeline reviewing the history of the museum’s home, the Nickerson Mansion, is also a treat to read. Black arrows on either side of the timeline are the means to navigate it, and be sure to click the “Learn More” links beneath each year’s description. The restoration of the mansion, which occurred between 2003-2008, is also available for review in a similar timeline fashion.

Study of an Oak Leaf by John Ruskin, undated. Pen and brown ink with watercolor over graphite. © Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

Watts Gallery Artists Village, Guildford, UK

Want more audio experiences? Look no further! The Watts Gallery has released an audio tour of Unto This Last: Two Hundred Years of John Ruskin, delivered by curators from the Yale Center for British Art, Tara Contractor, Victoria Hepburn, and Judith Stapleton. They discuss Ruskin’s art and legacy, as well as works or art by J. M. W. Turner, John Everett Millais and Edward Burne-Jones.  Click here to listen. Note that you can click “Start” to listen from the beginning or select any of the images you are most interested in listening about by scrolling down. There is a video discussion available as well via the Watts Gallery YouTube.

Mary Magadalene icon, Russian, c. 1890. Museum of Russian Icons.

Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA

If you enjoyed the other digital offerings of the Museum of Russian Icons, add their audio tour to your list. There are 39 icons discussed in bite-sized portions (each audio comment running about one to two minutes), so you can enjoy an icon at a time or spend an hour unwinding by listening to them all at once. The Mary Magdalene icon is a notable listen for insight into 19th century trends, while Dormition is a dramatic and complex rendering of an equally complex story.

Installation view of Picasso and Paper as it appears in the Royal Academy video tour.

Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

If you enjoyed James Gardner’s article, Paper Tiger, in our May/June 2020 issue, you will enjoy this virtual exhibition. The Royal Academy has created a video tour of its iteration of the Picasso and Paper show that is headed (some day) to the Cleveland Museum of Art, allowing you to enjoy high-definition views of all the works, as well as accompanying exhibition texts. The tour is hosted on the Royal Academy website, but can also be accessed on their Vimeo page along with other video options of interest, including more Picasso content.

Frog dress clip by Van Cleef & Arpels, c. 1960, Paris. Signed and numbered. Anthea A G Antiques.

The Open Art Fair, London, UK

Originally scheduled to run from March 18 to 24, the Open Art Fair has instead gone digital. Billed as an interdisciplinary fair for all styles and tastes, the show includes an almost innumerable collection of antiques, antiquities, Asian art, and paintings from the Old Masters onward. The virtual visit is organized into 4 halls: Hall A, Hall B, Hall C, and Pioneer Hall. You can browse the floor at your own pace by clicking through and using your mouse to explore, or you can click the play icon (a triangle near the bottom left of the screen) to be taken through automatically. If you prefer to browse by exhibitor, the option is also available, and makes item-by-item browsing a bit easier. Any purchase can be coordinated by contacting the gallery associated with an item via phone or email.

Self-portrait in a velvet cap with plume by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1638. Etching, 5 3/10 by 4 1/10 inches. Sarah Sauvin.

International Fine Print Dealers Association, Fine Art Print Fair

Featuring more than 500 years of printmaking, from the 16th century to the present day, the IFPDA’s Fine Art Print Fair promises to be a digital treat. Some 150 galleries and publishers of contemporary editions from a dozeb countries are participating. The show will run online from May 13-June 13, 2020, though the exhibitors list is already live and many items are available for review should you like to browse. There is no shortage of highlights – including a Rembrandt van Rijn self-portrait, Dürer’s Hercules, and Édouard Manet’s Boy with a Sword (Turned Left). There will be options available for all collectors, however, at a variety of price points once the show is live.

New Hampshire Historical Society

The New Hampshire Historical Society has launched an initiative called Collecting for New Hampshire’s COVID-19 Archive. They are asking Granite Staters to submit material related to life during the pandemic, with suggested submissions including journals, written accounts (particularly those of health-care workers, government officials, business owners, or essential workers), and photographs that document the impact of COVID-19 on the landscape and lives in New Hampshire. Project archivist Korrena Cowing is available for questions via email at: Digital submissions are being accepted already. However, if you have physical items you would like to donate, more details on donating them will follow when the New Hampshire Historical Society’s building has reopened, and will be found on their website.

Jenamarie Boots