A lot of creation comes from consumption of some kind; seeing, reading, listening to something inspiring primes the brain with energy for new ideas. But with everything closed and movement restricted some of the places that inspire the most are out of reach. Many museums have tried to fill that gap by making some or all of their collections available online. They are also hosting webinars, posting pictures, and even producing coloring books. Here too, the Malden Public Library is making our art collection available with a new piece of artwork every week with Monday at the Museum on Facebook. To help inspire and uplift, included below, are some links to museums offering art, culture, history and science add some richness to the stay at home creative life.
All the Library’s museum passes are locked up safe inside our building and all the local museums, zoos, and kid places are still closed down. But many our favorite family destinations available through our pass program are still available in some way online. Some of the museums also have daily offerings, live streams, and educational resources and not just virtual tours. So make sure to check out their web offerings to see what new events are available.
- Museum of Science: MOSatHome has daily offerings, virtual tours, science activities, webinars, and even events for adults.
- New England Aquarium: Virtual Visits to the Aquarium offer live webcams, daily updates, presentations, activities, and resources.
- The Boston Children’s Museum: Offers a virtual tour of the museum, and the website has a number of activities and resources.
- The Dr. Seuss Museum: The website has some online Seuss related activities and lots of history of Seuss and Springfield.
- The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: Virtual tour of the museum and art and book posts and activities with videos and inspirational suggestions for a variety of ages.
- The Franklin Park Zoo: Daily Facebook live offerings of content about the Zoo and its animals. Look for posts about #Zootoyou.
- The Smithsonian Museums: The Smithsonian in Washington DC has loads of offerings for every type of kid. Whether live zoo cams, history activities, science and aerospace, art, coloring, music. Their virtual programming has weeks of fun online and available for free.
For Art Lovers
Before the shutdown many museums had begun making their collections available online. Quarantine has helped those virtual collections to grow in number and variety. For art lovers and people looking for inspiration for their next creative project here is a selection of both local, national, and international art museums that offer virtual access.
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Adding to an already existing online selection the MFA has expanded access by including online programs, tours, curator’s posts, and access to a virtual tour via Google Arts and Culture.
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: With a number of online offerings about the art and the history of the Gardner the museum has also included blog posts and ongoing updates to things to come at the museum. And they have taken advantage of Google Arts and Culture to add their own virtual tour of the museum. Touring the gardens is especially inspiring.
- Institute of Contemporary Art: There are a number of selections from the museum’s current exhibitions posted on their website. As well as their detailed plan for Covid-19 response and the work the museum is doing as a food hub for East Boston. But for regular curated content the best place to follow the ICA is on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Harvard Art Museum: Online content via blog posts and art discussions. Also follow them on social media to get even more content.
- Google Arts and Culture: Access to over 2500 museum tours from around the world. Famous institutions like the Guggenheim, MOMA in New York, Versailles, The Global Street Art Foundation (UK), Museo Botero (Colombia), The Hong Kong Museum of Art, and too many more to list. These tours are not just for art lovers. There are historical sites and natural history museums too.
History, Culture, Nature and Unique Museums
In addition to all of the museums listed with Google Arts and Culture there are a number of niche institutions, historical sites, natural history museums and cultural institutions that have gone online with content for interested browsers. Here are a few but if there is an institution or type of museum missing from this list head to their website and look for their online options.
- Harvard Museums of Science and Culture: Online content, programming, tours, 3D models and a podcast!
- Massachusetts Historical Society: Online programs, lectures, and virtual tours of historical sites, and author talks.
- National Baseball Hall of Fame: Has a number of resources online centered on the history of Baseball.
- Langley Research Center (NASA): Online tour of Langley and NASA history.
- Oxford University History of Science Museum: Virtual tour of the museum and collection specific resources and library.
- New Bedford Whaling Museum: Museum from Home has art, history, science and literature. And a lot of resources and online lectures for the curious.
- National Museum of African American History and Culture: Another Smithsonian available through Google but more than the virtual tour the museum has a number of artifacts, documents, and resources on their main page.
Fun with Online Art
As more collections have come online, and more people have time to really appreciate them, a movement to replicate some great historical works has started. The instagram @covidclassics posts photos of classic painting recreations by four bored art lovers. The Getty Art Museum has also issued a challenge to replicate classic works of art with household objects.
You can follow the submissions on their Twitter account.
In response to the Getty challenge and the spirit of art and culture online. Here is Iggy Pup trying his very hardest to be a good boy like William Wegman’s wonderful Weimaraners.
Pretty good, right? Try it at home with some found objects and a camera. Feel free to tag the Malden Public Library on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the final result. #Creativityinchallengingtimes.
One more with Iggy the failed dog model.