The staircase of the Von der Heydt Museum is deserted, the halls with the valuable paintings have been swept empty. Like all cultural institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Wuppertal Art Museum is also closed due to the Corona crisis.
How the Digital Age change how we visit Museums
Nevertheless, the house offers an exclusive guided tour with museum director Gerhard Finckh, who explains masterpieces from the collection – from Edgar Degas to Franz Marc, Picasso, and Tony Cragg. Finckh’s enthusiasm for art is contagious on this tour. Viruses, on the other hand, are left out, because the participants in the tour sit at home at the screen.
Similar to the Von der Heydt Museum, many houses in North Rhine-Westphalia, but also in other federal states, have put virtual insights into their exhibitions and collections on their websites. This also includes a virtual tour of the museum itself, showcasing every corner and nook of the museum, from the inside to the driveway, professionally done by an experienced contractor. However, the films or image archives are often somewhat hidden and can only be found on the website with several clicks. In times of Corona and with the prospect of weeks of cultural abstinence, it is worthwhile to browse online for what the museums have to offer.
The Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, for example, offers films with insights into the exhibitions and interesting background information. A cinematic Beethoven tour through Bonn and the Bundeskunsthalle can at least be a small substitute for visiting the current exhibition for the Beethoven anniversary year. But films from past exhibitions are also worthwhile.
The Marta Herford shows impressions from its exhibitions with its “Marta TV”. Those who like the smooth and rough art objects from the current “Glass and Concrete” show may have the opportunity to see the presentation on site later, which will be shown until June 7th. Interested parties can preview the LWL Museum for Archeology in Herne virtually on their home computer – with a self-guided tour.
From Monet to Gerhard Richter
The forced cultural break caused by the coronavirus also offers the opportunity to take a long look around the collections of the museums, which, in addition to elaborate special exhibitions, often receive too little attention. The Folkwang Museum in Essen, for example, shows its rich collection with many famous modern artists digitally on its website.
If that is too confusing for you, you can use the Folkwang Museum app, which offers additional information on the highlights of the collection with selected works from, for example, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh to Gerhard Richter. Lovers of Pop Art and modern art will find plenty of illustrative material in the digital range of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.
Digital Photo Archives For The Art
Photo fans will find what they are looking for in the digital photo archive of the Essen Ruhr Museum with many historical photos, such as the visit of Kaiser Wilhelm I in Essen or the zeppelin landings in the Ruhr area in the 1930s. The Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Siegen presents modern photography and art in its digital archive, for example, works by Bernd and Hilla Becher or Candida Höfer. The website of the Düsseldorf Museum Kunstpalast also offers a digital photo collection.
For parents who are looking for meaningful employment opportunities for their children these days, the Museum Kunstpalast has a special offer: As the first art museum in Germany, it has its own website for children. There are games there that children can use to get to know the museum and its collection, such as a memory game or a detective hunt.
Another tip against boredom is a virtual visit to the LVR industrial museum St. Antony-Hütte in Oberhausen. Anyone who has downloaded the museum’s app can use the “Antonia” chatbot to explore the history of the St. Antony Hut. “Antonia” enters into a dialogue with the app user via text messages on the smartphone.