With museums and galleries worldwide shutting down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the art world is taking to online platforms to bring art, culture, and its market to the people.
As the world faces the dire effects of the global pandemic of novel coronavirus, the art world has been forced to slow down in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease and protect the health of its staff and larger community. Museums, galleries, art fairs, and other art institutions worldwide temporarily closed, suspended and postponed their operations and events.
But as Director of the Uffizi Eike Schmidt said in a statement, “Even though museums have had to close their doors, art doesn’t stop”. Museums and other art industry institutions across the globe are working hard to strengthen their digital presence and make their exhibitions and collections accessible online.
Even if you are going into self-quarantine, you can still wander through museums all over the world by taking virtual tours of their permanent collections and now shut temporary exhibitions. You can even still buy contemporary art from digital art sales platforms—including ArtSquare.io— and specially created viewing rooms put up by major art fairs.
Here’s a selection of the best online platforms hosting digital initiatives aimed to bring the experience of art into people’s homes.
Top International Museums and Galleries on Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture has been offering Street View tours as well as essays and articles of more than 500 great collections around the world for quite some time now, and there’s never been a better time to take advantage of them. Among the institutions to have teamed up with Google for this project, we recommend going on the virtual tours of The British Museum, London, The Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The J Paul Getty, Los Angeles, and the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. As reported by Artnet, The Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, one of the great museums for modern and contemporary art in Europe, is scrambling to make its collection and recently opened special exhibitions viewable online through their own online platform “Digital Cosmos”.
An extra tip: we recommend following the hashtag #MuseumFromHome on Instagram and Twitter to enjoy daily art content in the form of videos and posts from international museums and galleries, like the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Art Gallery, Washington.
Art Fair Viewing Rooms
Travel bans and restrictive measures have deeply affected the operations of the art market, with some key events like Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Dubai cancelled, postponed, or remodulated. Artsy posts regular updates on new pandemic-related developments in the art world on this live coverage page.
The art industry has traditionally put the possibility of viewing the physical object centerstage in the multistep process of buying art. So how is the art market holding up in the face of this global lockdown? As art gallerist and advisor Glenda Cinquegrana explains in an illuminating article for Forbes Italia, the industry is responding well and promptly by going digital. Following the cancellation of its Hong Kong event, Art Basel has announced it will launch viewing rooms of gallery booths for each of its global fairs. The first edition of this digital initiative will see 231 gallerists exhibit online the artworks they had planned to bring to Hong Kong earlier this month. The viewing rooms will be open for VIP preview from March 18 and will be accessible from March 20 through March 25 by everyone through Art Basel website and mobile app, for free.
The works on display will be listed either with their tag price or with a price range; you will be able to browse the works and search by artists, mediums, and galleries as well as to contact galleries directly with sale inquiries. The cultural and economic potential of digital spaces like these is endless. Such initiatives are not only making art fairs more democratic and accessible; they also prove that new technologies offer opportunities to support galleries and engage with global audiences, as Art Basel director Marc Spiegl has pointed out in a statement.
Art Market Platforms: ArtSquare.io
For very obvious reasons, the online auction calendar seems to have been unaffected by the novel coronavirus epidemic—the upcoming scheduled Prints & Multiples Online Auction at Christie’s is one lovers of prints and etchings from all periods do not want to miss.
As the art industry goes digital to reach out to new audiences and bolster itself, ArtSquare.io believes there has never been a more felicitous time to plunge into what these new technologies have to offer. This includes new models of art ownership which go beyond the idea of creating digital spaces for exhibiting and selling art and instead push the boundaries of traditional ways art is sold and bought.
With ArtSquare.io, you can buy shares of contemporary artworks by world-class artists from your laptop and smartphone. By signing up to our platform, you will get to experience the artwork very closely with a navigation similar to the increasingly popular viewing rooms. And there’s more: you can also view the artwork’s documentation, including its authenticity certificate and condition report. The specific total price of the artwork and of its individual shares is always clearly presented.
What is really revolutionary about ArtSquare.io is that you can invest in fractions of artworks and build a diverse art collection which is also a Portfolio of assets. And you can profit from your shares in two ways: wait for the owner to sell the artwork to cash out, or sell your shares on ArtSquare’s own exchange at any time.
With one artwork live for sale and two more in the pipeline, this is the perfect time to sign up to ArtSquare.io and start a new collecting experience—and all of this from the comfort and safety of your home.
Making space for art in our self-isolation routine is one way to carve a moment of joy and peaceful contemplation out of these turbulent times.