How are you doing? During these times, I have been (and everyone else too!) asking this question with all sincerity. With ‘staying home’ being the new norm for an indefinite period of time for many of us, I’d admit that these last few months have been difficult in transitioning, and my mood and productivity has been going all haywire.
I chose this cover picture above of Roses (1893) by Peder Severin Krøyer, which I discovered from reading Women Who Read Are Dangerous, as I thought it’s a great illustration of the home-ly, sheltered lives we have been living in now — lucky for you if you have a gorgeous rose garden like the one pictured! I’ve had this image as my desktop wallpaper since I got my new computer last August, and I love it for its calm peacefulness. In the same way, I wanted to share some art content that I have been checking out recently that has brought both entertainment and reprieve during these times!
One great thing that has emerged during the global slowdown / lockdown has been seeing how art continues to engage and uplift people. I’m very appreciative of all the museums and their staff that have been working hard to deliver more digital content online, which has been great in allowing me to access more exhibitions and content which I might not been able to before. Also a big thank you to all readers who have been visiting Wording Art here for a dose of art! :)
Here goes a list of exhibition tours, films and talks that I have been enjoying lately. You may notice that many are from British institutions, but they have been my interest lately…
1. Royal Academy of Arts & Exhibition On Screen
Royal Academy of Arts has very generously released three Exhibition On Screen films on their Youtube channel and Facebook page featuring their previous exhibitions. Exhibition On Screen specialises in making films focusing on artists or exhibitions, and you can buy, download, or stream their great number of art films at their website (linked here)!
The three films featuring the Royal Academy of Arts’ exhibitions are:
David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts: A Bigger Picture 2012 & 82 Portraits and One Still Life 2016
Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse
Manet: Portraying Life
I will link to the RA’s Youtube and Facebook here (as they have disallowed playback on other websites), but be sure to click over to view these films featuring these great exhibitions! I think it’s such a great way to (re)discover exhibitions, and they’re also done in a documentary style, so you get further insights from the curators and art experts on the works.
2. Picasso on Paper at the Royal Academy of Arts
The RA also shared a virtual tour of their most recent exhibition Picasso on Paper, which had to close when the UK went into lockdown. A super interesting exhibition featuring an aspect of Picasso’s work that is not often discussed: his work with paper, in the form of sketches, prints, collages and even three-dimensional pieces.
I liked how the virtual tour zoomed in close on the details of the individual works and even spanned across the didactics and wall panels at a slower pace to allow you to read them! All set to the tune of peaceful music, no voices this time. :) Again, here are the links to the RA’s Youtube and Facebook, where you can check out the tour.
3. Titian: Love, Desire, Death at The National Gallery
Here is a brilliant curator tour of the exhibition Titian: Love, Desire, Death at The National Gallery, London that was also cut short thanks to the lockdown. It seems like this exhibition will be extended, but that’s really depending on when museums in the UK can reopen.
This exhibition features Titian’s six paintings depicting mythological scenes from the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Though it’s a small one, the exhibition is hugely remarkable as it marks the first time the series of paintings was brought together in one space in over four centuries! Here is also a link to a post on The National Gallery’s website explaining and describing each of the six paintings in more detail.
4. Young Rembrandt at the Ashmolean Museum
Young Rembrandt is yet another exhibition that was abruptly closed, but has now gone online! Young Rembrandt tracks the artistic development of Rembrandt, and the virtual exhibition follows the same pattern with its neat sectioning into five parts.
Unlike the other exhibition formats share above, Young Rembrandt is being shared on Ashmolean’s website linked here through the ‘old-school’ way of text and images, coupled with some supplementary videos along the way.
5. Open Courtauld Hour with the Courtauld Institute
While the arts content I’ve shared above are on exhibitions, I’ve also been enjoying listening to talks on art history online. Art history seminars used to be only presented and heard in-person, and it’s very interesting how going online means that they are made free and accessible despite distance and time difference!
The Courtauld Institute has recently concluded their Open Courtauld Hour event, a series of four talks that focused on the themes of (in the following order): Art in Isolation, Art and Wellbeing, The Future of Art History and Women Artists. Each talk invites a few speakers to present on the set topic, and ends with a reading by a poet every time.
All of the talks are available to watch on their Youtube channel (linked here). Out of all the talks, I have yet to complete watching the final one of Women Artists, which I have linked below:
I’m sure that the topic of Women Artists is probably going to be the most popular, and I’m also really interested in this one because this is what my research is about! More on that later…
6. Talks at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center
Final recommendation: The art history seminar Rome and her Legacy: Classical Art in the 21st Century presented by Susanna McFadden from the Fine Arts Department of the University of Hong Kong, organised by the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Here is the link to watch the seminar on Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s Facebook page!
I pretty much like learning about any aspects of Western / European art, and this was a really interesting talk about classical Roman wall paintings. I also loved having this chance to connect with my alma mater!
And that’s a wrap! I hope you will enjoy checking out these talks, tours, videos, and films — if you hadn’t seen them yet! Of course, if you also have any recommendations to share, please let me know too!