Beyond the Gallery Wall: Art World Retrains the Public, Virtually

By Jennifer G. Wolcott Correspondent
The Peabody Essex Museum offers livestreamed yoga classes like this one, held within artist Anila Quayyum Agha’s “All the Flowers Are for Me” installation. Image Courtesy of The Peabody Essex Museum
It’s not a new rule of thirds that the art world wants to embrace: An estimated 1 out of 3 museums could close permanently as a result of the pandemic. But like many types of nonprofit and for-profit businesses, museums and galleries have spent the past six months getting creative. There are virtual exhibit tours, artist interviews, educational classes, and more, with some surprising benefits: the ability to reach a global audience, to provide access to those with restricted mobility, and to attract young people. “No matter how old school one might be,” says gallery owner Sundaram Tagore, “people in the art world were recognizing that technology is pervasive, and we all need to adapt to it. COVID-19 has accelerated that process.” [More]