The annals of cultural history will certainly record the year 2020 with a whole bunch of asterisks.
Yet, while we sit sequestered on our most comfortable couch these days, there is much to
explore inside the very museums and galleries that are closed. Thanks to virtual technology, a
number of local museums — and hundreds of national galleries — are “open.” And each offers
the safety of social distancing we must all respect.
Visit the Heinz History Center now. While walking through the main exhibit areas, you can
direct your own path, zoom in on art and exhibits, and learn hundreds of Pittsburgh stories.
The site also includes some “virtual” exhibits by way of video commentary on shows that have
come and gone. “Toys of the 50s, 60’s and 70s” is worth the screening.
The Frick Pittsburgh offers a walking tour, via Google maps, through the first floor of Clayton. There’s virtual exhibits of the museum’s vast collection of portraits, gilded era fashion, automobiles, and early 20th century home “conveniences.” All are worth discovering, especially in the context of our current cultural confinements.
You can “drive” right now to the The Westmoreland Museum of Art in Greensburg and explore a
world of antiques, 20th century art, and early Pennsylvania history.
But you don’t have to stay in Western Pennsylvania. While most international borders are
closed, you can visit museums in New York City, Paris, Rome and Nairobi, Kenya, thanks to
Google Arts and Culture. There’s even a tour you can take in Chengdu. Anyone itching to visit
the Insect Museum of West China?
Cool Pick by C. Prentiss Orr.