Museums, galleries, and other art-related events across the world are closing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, yet one institution has devised a clever strategy for continuing its operations with relatively little interruption. Rather than canceling Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 outright, the international art fair has launched Online Viewing Rooms, their very first virtual viewing experience that features over 2,000 artworks collectively valued at over $270 million that would have been on display in the physical setting. “Welcome to Online Viewing Rooms,” the website reads, “our digital platform connecting the world's premier galleries with collectors around the world. Log in now with your Art Basel account and discover a wide array of curated rooms featuring thousands of high-caliber artworks.” The Online Viewing Rooms are currently exhibiting the artworks for sale from 234 galleries based across the world—about 90 percent of the galleries that had originally agreed to participate in the art fair at no cost. “I am so pleased that we are able to provide our exhibitors with an alternative platform to show the wonderful work that they had been working so hard to bring to Hong Kong this spring,” Adeline Ooi, the director Asia for Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong, told Artforum. The concept was developed in 2017 by German art dealer David Zwirner for the online exhibition of his galleries in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. When explaining the alternative viewing experience, he told the New York Times that, “in a funny way, the art world is late to the party if you think about other retail experiences.” Aside from furthering its commitment to the global retail market, the Online Viewing Rooms can also potentially increase attendance while significantly reducing the overall carbon footprint attached to the event. While the exhibition was originally scheduled to be on display at Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Center from March 17 to March 21, the virtual version will run from March 20 to March 25. Time will tell if this year's other art fairs, which are currently feeling the pressure to cancel if they haven’t already, will consider establishing online viewing rooms of their own.
Posts tagged with "Virtual Tour":
Social distancing during COVID-19? Stuck inside on a rainy day? Or just don't want to fight the crowds? Take a virtual tour of New York City's major landmarks from your couch. The New York Landmark Conservancy has curated a catalog of virtual tours that let you see New York from wherever you are. The video series features sixty-three different virtual tours across all five boroughs. Tour historic homes, parks, sacred sites, museums, and skyscrapers to find famous monuments and hidden gems in the Big Apple.
Google Arts and Culture has partnered with over 500 museums and cultural institutions globally to allow visitors to peruse their collections virtually. Travel from New York City to Paris to Seoul and back in just a few clicks. The top 10 museums to tour include the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the British Museum, London; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; the Pergamon Museum, Berlin; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; MASP, São Paulo; and the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.
If you can't make it to Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, fear not: Google Street View has a solution. Though not quite as fulfilling as visiting in person, their self-guided virtual tour offers insight into the museum's iconic architecture while letting you view some of its exhibitions and artworks. This isn't the first time Google Street View's engineers have added masterpieces 0f art and architecture. In fact, as a member of the Google Cultural Institute, the Guggenheim is one of almost 750 museums and collections available to explore online. Google also offers walkthroughs of famous world wonders such as the Taj Mahal. With the Guggenheim museum, online tourists can view 120 pieces of artwork on display and travel up and down the building's famed spiral ramps. Attempting to keep the virtual tour as realistic as possible, Google only allows you to click one step forward at a time, though it's also possible to jump from floor to floor. Because of Wright's layout of the museum, it wasn't easy for Google to create its virtual walkthrough. Drones, tripods, and Street View “trolleys” captured a patchwork of images to create 360-degree views. The experience is best accessed via the Google Cultural Center (available here) rather than entering from Google Street View (as shown in the image). Selecting the latter leaves you stuck halfway up the Museum. Exhibitions from the Guggenheim Foundation currently available online are No Country: Contemporary Art For South and Southeast Asia and Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim. For architecture enthusiasts, Google is exhibiting Photography and Modern Architecture in Brazil at its online cultural center, available here.
Could this be the future of architectural photography? The LA Times this weekend published a wonderful virtual tour of Ray Kappe's own house on a heavily wooded lot in the Palisades. Thanks to huge glass walls, skylights, clerestories, floating interior planes and cantilevered wooden decks, trellises and platforms, the house appears to float over its sloping site. It's truly one of the most spectacular houses ever built. And the tours of its facade, main room, kitchen, and deck do it more justice than any two dimensional pictures could. Now if only Kappe could get more props himself. When is he gonna win a Pritzker already?