Janet Wells’ takes us online for her quarterly review of the Arts, Gallery and Museum scene

As we are in an extended period of Lockdown; I have been looking around to  see what major Art Galleries and Museums have online; and what motivational art programmes on tv or google are currently out there.

Chanel 4 has Greyson Perry Art Club:  I had to register into Ch 4 and then I watched on my phone.  Thankfully, this is not a “how to do” programme.

Keith Tyson and Quentin Blake recently launched @isolationartschool – which you can find through Instagram

BBC4 are promoting another Life Drawing Live class.  I registered and tried to get into the first one – but never managed it before the programme ended!! Perhaps they will have now sorted out the glitches – or was it me!!

You can always find lots on technique or artists on YouTube

Accessed on Facebook: There is an international group called Urban Sketchers  and part of that, Urban Sketchers London:  In normal times they meet regularly at advertised locations:   There is no tuition or criticism and all abilities are welcome and represented in the group.  At the end of the day’s drawing, the sketches are laid out to share. Urban Sketchers London are a monitored group on facebook and if inclined, you can ask to join.  While we are in Lockdown, members are continuing to put their work on the fb site.

Museums and Art Galleries

The National Portrait Gallery was to close anyway from 29th June, for three years while it undergoes a major refurbishment:  The outcome is that their site is very well designed and it appears to cover everything.

There are several title heads:

It allows you to explore the collection in a range of ways – other than by searching for a named sitter or artist.

Under the heading Blog:  you have news, artists and stories.

Virtual Gallery Rooms:   A walk through the galleries – a bit tricky at first to manipulate – but you will get the hang of it.

Leaning and Resources: Resources specially developed downloads PDF’s to support school-based learning.

Transforming the Gallery: “Inspiring People” this is information on the refurbishment of the building: The creation of the new public spaces and the comprehensive re-display of the Collection.

While it is closed, the Dulwich Picture Gallery is showing stories and films on their social media channel – you can follow them @DulwichGallery. Their Collection online is easy to access: It includes paintings by Rembrandt, Thomas Gainsborough (his portraits of the Linley family), Canaletto and Poussin.

The Royal Academy has a number of short films on their site:

There is the 2019 24min film on the British sculptor Phyllida Barlow RA: Known for her use of materials- such as plaster, cardboard and cement, turning the conventions of traditions sculpture on its head.  In this film the artist talks about her approach to sculpture.

You can revisit – or if first missed – you can have a virtual wander around the Picasso on Paper Exhibition.  The RA invites you to a “meditative 40min experience and to sit back and enjoy the exhibition”.

Gaugin in 60 seconds

They have a feature headed “Artists in Isolation” where artists share their experiences during Lockdown.

I did find the new film on David Hockney, “Exhibition on Screen” on the RA site but not today.  However, you will find it on YouTube.

There is also the opportunity to “Zip around the 2019 Summer Exhibition”

The Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House,  – which houses the best of the Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings -has been closed since Sept 2018 for “an ambitious transformation project “:   You can enjoy their virtual tour by looking for Explore the Courtauld on the website.    The Courtauld YouTube channel offers insights into their world -famous collection and there are talks by academics on the history of art and conservation.

The British Museum has a Virtual Museum tour with Google Street View.

There is a selection of work from their collection of prints and drawings.  With visuals of their Oceanic Collection which has objects for Australia, New Guinea and the many islands dotted around the South Pacific.

I decided to have a look at a few museums/galleries beyond the UK:

The Rijks Museum Amsterdam site is well worth a visit: Extensive, imaginative and all your favorites without having to queue!

The Louvre – Paris has a short Virtual Reality experience which brings to life the story of the Mona Lisa – can be found on YouTube.

J Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles  has Last Minute Michelangelo – a walk through the now-closed exhibition with curator Julian Brooks   I recommend this.

MoMA  – New York City :  Click on Google Arts&Culture and you have  access to their amazing collection.

The Jean Miro Museum, Barcelona  have, on their site, 35 videos on Jean Miro’s life.

The Jean Miro Museum, Barcelona

Back in the Barbican if the Library opens, there are three exhibitions lined up for the Summer:

June 5th – 27th Lesley Shargool – printed textiles

July 3 – 30th Barbican Creative Learning

August 5th – 27th Arthur Baglee – Landscape Painter.

Arthur Baglee – Landscape Painter