COVID-19 Diaries: Art from home

Something I’ve missed a lot during lockdown is going to museums. I’m a member of the Met, and would go at least once a week, sometimes twice. What’s helped are the great videos from the Frick, of which I’m also a member. To be honest, I didn’t go to the Frick as often as I go to the Met. The Met is closer to where I live and there’s just lot more to explore. But the Frick has been KILLING IT in terms of content during COVID-19.

Cocktails with a Curator. The museum launched this series shortly after quarantine started. In the videos, which come out every Fridy at five, the curator (either Xavier F. Salomon or Aimee Ng) pairs a cocktail with a piece of art from the Frick collection. The cocktail usually has something to do with the art work’s subject or where the artist is from. Then they talk about the piece, its history and geography, and the artist. It’s so delightful and educational.

Travels with a Curator. In this Frick series, which comes out on Wednesdays, the curator talks about a museum or piece of art in another country that has a connection with the Frick. (Although there is no cocktail pairing, I usually have a drink anyway.)

The Frick Five. These interviews are fun too. Xavier or Aimee interviews a fellow curator at another museum, always asking the same five questions. The videos come out every other Tuesday.

I’ve also enjoyed some of the Met’s videos, in particular this one about Blind Orion and this one about conserving a piece of Islamic armor. I’ve also been devouring ones from the National Gallery in London. The ones I’ve been watching are 30-minute live talks about one piece of art, usually a painting. (The audience is almost always full of gray-haired people, retirees I imagine. Watching the videos makes me wish I were a retiree in London.) There are a ton of them and they are all good. Of course some are better than others, but I’ve enjoyed all of them. The ones I remember really liking were the ones on Van Gogh’s The Sunflowers and Hans Holbein’s Christina of Denmark.

Hopefully someday I’ll be able to see these works of art in person again.

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