March 26, 2021, by Matt Davies

Digital Exhibitions: a round-up by Emily Grote

DTH Marketing project volunteer and third year English student Emily Grote takes a closer look at some of the online Arts exhibitions that she and the team have been sharing with our social media followers and which might help get us all away from those box sets!

Installation shot from Yesterday's News Today exhibition at the German Biennale

‘Yesterday’s News Today’ from the German Biennale

With all the galleries and museums currently shut due to the pandemic, it can sometimes feel very difficult to access art and culture. To many of us, streaming box sets and films seems like the main form of entertainment available to us. Whilst entertaining and relaxing, this doesn’t provide the same social and intellectual enjoyment as visiting a local art gallery, or a famous museum in a new city. While we look forward to the time, hopefully not too far in the future, when we can experience these things again, there are hundreds of interactive online exhibitions which are accessible from home on any device that you have available. Countless museums across the world and multinational companies like Google are teaming up to offer free and ticketed online content to help us feel more connected to the institutions we love, and combat lockdown boredom!

Individual museums and galleries, both small and large are offering live screenings, viewings and activities for all ages and audiences. Also, interacting with global exhibitions is a good way to get a small travel fix and a short break from our day to day lives. For example, the German Biennale festival for contemporary photography are offering a series of online exhibits under the theme of ‘The Lives and Loves of Images’, including a revisiting of the celebrated 20th century photographer Walter Evans and his insightful and arrestingly simple style of photography, with an English language interview by David Company explaining his life and works.

Their other interactive exhibitions include ‘All art is photography’ which considers the practical and cultural relationship between photography and art, ‘Yesterday’s News Today’ (see image above) which brings old photographs into new light, and ‘Reconsidering icons’ in which contemporary artists adapt and transform the work of famous photograpers.

From Amsterdam, both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are offering free, interactive online exhibits. The Rijksmuseum exhibit showcases their ‘Masterpieces Up Close’ where you can use the map to tour around a 3D virtual representation gallery and listen to audio descriptions of some of their most famous works by Rembrandt and many more. There is also a key challenge where you have to find the online keys in the museum and get the chance to win a prize!

Screenshot of virtual tour of the Rijksmuseum

Virtual tour of the Rijksmuseum

The Van Gogh Museum’s whole collection is online including the artist’s self-portraits, sunflowers and many other classics. There are also stories about Vincent’s life, and a collection of his letters which gives us new insight into his life and experiences.

Screenshot from the Van Gogh Museum's collection

Van Gogh Museum collection

If archaeology and history is more your thing than paintings then don’t worry, institutions like Acropolis in Athens, Greece are offering Virtual Tours, where you can use an interactive map to experience the site as if you were there in person. This includes the Parthenon which has just undergone restoration works, and the Athene Nike temple, with a map to help you navigate your way around:

Screenshot of a virtual map of the Acropolis

Virtual map of the Acropolis

Finally, if you’re looking for exhibitions and exciting creative content all in one easily accessible place then Google Arts and Culture has you covered:

Over 2020, they partnered with over 500 global art institutions to offer their exhibitions to the public online. There is such a wide range of museums and art galleries to choose from that you can explore whatever tickles your fancy. For example, you could explore MoMA’s collection of Christian Dior’s ballgowns in New York, learn about Buddhist art in Myanmar at the British Museum, or explore Frida Kahlo’s extraordinary collage ‘The Frame’ at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

They also have a Youtube channel which produces regular, topical cultural content , lots of actives and games to keep your creative juices flowing, as well as insightful cultural and historical articles to keep you informed about what’s going on in the creative sector!

As well as using exhibitions as a way to explore the world from home, attending online events at local institutions can be a great way to engage with the community you’re in and feel more connected to the arts and culture scene in your city/ county. In Nottingham, for example, there are lots of local digital exhibitions and events, many of which are conveniently listed on the Visit Nottingham website.

The DTH’s social media outlets: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter regularly post information about online exhibitions, as well as other digital Arts news, info., and guides on using digital resources and software.


Posted in DTH Volunteers