The function of museums throughout the pandemic
One way that museums recognize the monumental impact of Covid-19 is to collect the creative works that came into being at that time. CR speaks to the institutions that make this possible
The closure of galleries and museums during the pandemic meant that many institutions had to re-calibrate their purpose and find new ways to reach people. For some, this meant embracing the digital, with virtual exhibitions and tours possibly becoming the way we will see shows in the future. For others, it was about thinking about how to remember that time in decades or centuries to get through the material and artifacts that are created. Here CR speaks to two institutions that approach the preservation of these objects in different ways: one that emerged directly from the pandemic and the other that has cataloged human creativity for almost 170 years.
To record and summarize the national (or even international) mood, some institutions have published open calls to collect the creative work that embodies this, such as the National Portrait Gallery in London, which this month holds Still, a community- Photography, launched project to capture "the nation's hopes, fears, and feelings as we continue to deal with the outbreak of the corona virus." The project is an open call for contributions to helpers and heroes. Your new normal; and acts of kindness.
In addition to existing institutions launching such initiatives, projects such as the Covid Photo Museum in Amsterdam and the Covid Art Museum (CAM) in Barcelona, Spain, were launched as a direct result of the pandemic in the hope of creating an online archive both the public mood and public creativity.
Artwork by @erikalesears from the Covid Art Museum