Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Humboldt Exhibition Moves Online

Curator Eleanor Jones Harvey had completed the years-long task of gathering the art and artifacts for her Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition about Alexander von Humboldt, which was scheduled to open in the spring of 2020.

Frederic Edwin Church, The Falls of Tequendama, Near Bogotá, New Grenada, 
1854, oil on canvas 60 7/16 x 48 1/16 in., Cincinnati Art Museum

Then the pandemic lockdown happened.

When the date was set for the staff to exit the building, she knew she might not be able to visit it again. So while she still had access, she had a brainstorm: why not document the show with a curator's tour? 

She found a videographer. Without time to prepare a script or dress up for the occasion, she did an off-the-cuff video walkthrough of the exhibition. 

It's an inspired presentation: coherent, eloquent, accurate, and concise, especially when you realize how spontaneous it was.   

The curators and education team produced videos and images for an online experience, which you can still see on their website.

One of them is a video focusing on Frederic Church's "Heart of the Andes." The video separates spatial layers and uses lateral parallax movements to create "an immersive journey."
• Another book by E.J. Harvey: 

Thanks, Ida


Kia said...

I think it was Anton Chekhov traveling across Russia to the island of Sakhalin who stopped at a remote village in the east somewhere where the memory of the madman Gumblot who had passed through the area years before lived on as a local legend.

Aleta Karstad said...

Oh THANK YOU James, for this incredibly inspiring post! I'm sharing this video about the Humboldt exhibition all over the place! What an exciting time in history, and what an important and influential man he was - connecting Nature, Art, and Culture, and influencing history, which is what we all desperately need to do now!

Meera Rao said...

Thank you ! What a wonderful post !!!