Virtual Museum Visits
Though we were already adept at working from home, those of us with school-aged kids have had to learn on the fly how to schedule their days for both education and entertainment. While working on our renovation of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, I found some great resources on its website for learners of all ages. With a passion for museums, and a need to keep our kindergartner busy, I set out to find what else our clients have available online.
Above: Our kindergartner coloring a free printout provided by the Peabody Museum. It’s the giant squid model hanging in the main lobby, Architeuthis dux.
The Addison Gallery of American Art at Philips Academy Andover has its Addison at Home page. The hub includes a virtual tour, digitized collections, and a few fun family activities, including instructions on how to create a mini museum with art projects that kids may be making at home.
The Fairfield Museum and History Center is expanding its online offerings, and is active on social media. Visit Virtual Fairfield Museum for their weekly K-12 art challenge, and a number of daily Facebook Live events, including Storytime Live for children on Wednesday mornings.
Fairfield University Art Museum has an extensive online collection of video and audio resources relating to current and past exhibitions, and an accompanying blog. The content is more for advanced learners.
Visit the Florence Griswold Museum through two different virtual tours found on its homepage. One is a tour of the Florence Griswold House, and the other is of the current exhibition “Nothing More American,” that is displayed in the museum’s expansion we designed. Good for the art lover of any age.
LancasterHistory has a Learning Tools & Videos page. The content is for more experienced learners, including specific curricula for high schoolers. In addition to the many local and President Buchanan historical resources, there’s a lot to explore, including interesting finds like World War I posters and an 19th century facial hair gallery.
Mystic Seaport Museum has a digital museum that explores the many facets of the maritime village. The newest video takes a look at large shipyard tools, while another delves into the recent JMW Turner exhibition that was held in our Thompson Exhibition Building. The “Cabinet Curiosity” series is also worth checking out.
True to its interactive visitor experience, Nauticus has a fun virtual museum. There are Virtual Adventures every weekday for kids, archived videos, educational worksheets, and even a contest to create a deep sea creature.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History's tremendous digital offerings are found in its Peabody@Home hub. The resources range from coloring books to virtual microscopy, and so much more. There’s even a time lapse of the removal of the dinosaur exhibits in advance of our renovation work. The hub is a must-see for any age.
Yale University’s digital archives are predictably robust. While looking for the Peabody hub, I also found that another one of our past Yale projects, the Lewis Walpole Library, has digital resources. The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection includes 18th-century British art and materials.
Of course, there is no replacing the learning and fun of visiting a museum in person, but during this unprecedented time, it’s a good opportunity to explore all the great things museums have to offer online. We hope to see everyone in a museum again soon.