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Virtual Exhibitions Continue Under The Pandemic with Frieze New York

JANMARIS PEREZ, HOST: This weekend, Frieze New York launches their virtual art fair. Frieze is a major fair, one of the largest in the city, but this year it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been almost two months since the city’s galleries and museums were closed. Reporter Lucas Brady Woods looks at how art exhibition is going online.

LUCAS BRADY WOODS, BYLINE: Last May, almost 50,000 people attended exhibitions at Frieze New York. On Randalls Islands crowds surrounded a Red Grooms piece, a life sized caricature of an MTA bus.

Sound of the crowd.

WOODS: But this year, Frieze New York sounds more like this:

Launch video welcome message.

WOODS: That’s a clip from a launch video for this year’s Frieze online Viewing Room. Starting today, the website will feature artist talks and virtual gallery tours.

Lynda Kennedy is the vice president of Education and Evaluation for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. She says with the shutdown, museums and galleries are exploring art and objects online in ways that you can’t in real life.

LYNDA KENNEDY: You can zoom right into it. object and take a look at it up close, for example, or walk around it where there might have been a barrier, you know, in the in the space itself.

ERIN THOMPSON: God I miss museums.

WOODS: Erin Thompson is a Professor at the City University of New York, who studies art collecting and exhibition. She says nothing can replace the experience being in the same space as the actual artworks. But she hopes the new virtual exhibitions can at least broaden access to major collections.

THOMPSON: I'm really hoping that say the Metropolitan Museum will do even more online programs not so much for New Yorkers who can go back after they reopen. But for people in around the globe who might never have the chance to visit the museum.

WOODS: The challenge for arts organizations, though, is to figure out how.

THOMPSON: Nobody knows what to do these days. So if you have a good idea for what your museum should look like in the coming weeks during shutdown or the coming years during recovery, I'm sure they would like to know.

WOODS: Lucas Brady Woods, Columbia Radio News.


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