Your starter guide to art at home
Published Wednesday, 25th March 2020
From exploring virtual museums to finding inspiration on Instagram, here are a few ways to get your fix of art from home.
We know that art can have a positive impact on our sense of wellbeing – so at a time of social distancing and self-isolation, we want to offer you some alternative ways to enjoy art and the wonderful work of museums and galleries, safely from your own home.
Explore museum collections online
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to delving into the UK’s museum collections online.
With the opportunity to view collections, resources and even take part in learning opportunities digitally, you can soak up the breadth of these impressive archives without putting a foot outside.
Not sure where to begin? Check out the likes of Tate, Pitt Rivers Museum, Surgeons’ Hall Museums, the National Justice Museum and the V&A for starters. And follow @artfund on Twitter where we’ll be retweeting the digital activity of museums across the country.
And, if you have some downtime and you’ve run out of boxsets to binge, we’d also recommend checking out the Secrets of the Museum series on BBC iPlayer – a unique look behind the curtain of one of the world’s most iconic museums, the V&A.
Get inspiration from Instagram
We’ve picked a few of our favourite Instagram accounts that celebrate the visual arts to fill your feed with a pop of colour on a dreary day.
Some of these fabulous Instagrammers are much-loved art galleries currently closed, or dedicated arts and culture bloggers who inspire our exhibition wishlists – show them your support by staying engaged with their feeds for your daily dose of digital art.
London Art File is the Instagram of visual arts blogger Kate West, whose meticulous eye for documenting the best exhibitions London has to offer will brighten up any day. Follow for striking visuals and current updates on the vibrant London art scene.
Travel back in time for a visual history lesson with the iconic Oxford museum’s beautiful and descriptive feed, which delves into an impressive catalogue of works of art and objects that tell the story of humanity through the ages.
Combining beautiful imagery with witty captions, this is the Instagram of passionate pottery enthusiast – or more officially, the specialist head of ceramics and glass at Christie’s New York – Carleigh Queenth. Feast your eyes on her daily updates, mainly centred around ceramics, from her delightful feed.
Famed for its iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, the Courtauld Gallery hosts one of the UK’s best-loved collections of art. Their Instagram feed is an homage to the art that graces their walls and the wonderful work they do to encourage learning and conservation.
Run by curator and art historian Katy Hessel, this mesmerising feed documents the incredible work and achievements of women artists around the world. Full of colour, variation and informative content, this fabulous Instagram is one to scroll through aimlessly for hours.
Promoting the #MuseumFromHome movement at this time of isolation, alternative museum tour guide and arts freelancer Dan Vo provides a lively commentary on LGBTQ+ art in museum and gallery collections, and is broadcasting fascinating stories and insights from home via IGTV.
Stay informed with arts and culture online
Stay in the know with some of the best blogs, articles and essays from the UK’s cultural organisations, and make sure to follow your favourites on social media for new content.
Have a look at those listed below to stay engaged with art and culture in the digital space, and find some much-needed relief and food for thought to keep you connected to the arts.
Wellcome Collection Stories
Exploring the way we think and feel about health, there could be no better time to engage with the Wellcome Collection’s Stories – collections of thoughtful essays, articles and comic-style visual narratives that encourage you to consider the connections between science, medicine, life and art.
The Whitworth Essays
A hub of research and collaboration, Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery hosts a range of essays accompanying its collections, offering opinions and explorations from curators and guest writers on a range of themes.
Home to the digital archive and catalogues of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Baltic+ features an array of art films, essays and zines to occupy a rainy day, connecting readers to the art scene in the North East.
Google Arts & Culture
For more widespread coverage of the visual arts world, the mighty Google Arts & Culture portal provides the chance to engage with essays, articles, images and much more from its 1,000-plus museum partners.
We recommend the British Museum’s collaboration with Google, offering you the unmissable opportunity to explore its remarkable collection covering two million years of human history and culture as if you were there in the flesh. You’ll forget your living room even existed at all!
These are just a few of our highlights, but there’s so much more to discover. Make sure to follow your favourite organisations for their updates and show your support for museums and galleries at this challenging time.
Photo © Andy Smith