Coronavirus kindness: Fashion museums and institutes give back
Mar 26, 2020
For weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed much of the world, forcing fashion brands, retailers and some of the largest art and fashion institutes to close their doors and shutter operations.
While fashion museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have had to close and even postpone the launch of upcoming exhibitions and events, many are getting creative and going digital to bring their exclusive work to people around the globe.
The movement is making culture broadly accessible at a time when online media audiences are surging, with an estimated 20% of the global population now under lockdown. It’s also encouraging people to stay home to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Louis Vuitton Foundation
As France is ordered on lockdown, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is reaching people via new online initiatives. The art museum and cultural centre, sponsored by the group LVMH and its subsidiaries, said it wants to “come to you”, by offering a mix of previously launched exhibitions, concerts and masterclasses, via Facebook and YouTube.
Dubbed #FLVfromhome, the group will share exhibitions with commentary by its curators, every Wednesday; concerts that were previously held at its Auditorium, every Friday; and concerts by the graduates of the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle led by Gautier Capuçon, every Sunday.
This week, the foundation invites you to look back on the concert of Lang Lang - first launched on October 28 2014 - and the exhibition"In Tune with the World”, which was first launched in April 2018.
The Cartier Foundation, which has closed its doors to the public and canceled upcoming events since Friday, March 13, is unearthing its series of podcasts, articles, and previously unreleased content in an effort to keep art aficionados busy.
This week the foundation turned its attention to the world of Claudia Andujar with new content to discover, as well as a series of podcasts. The work of the Brazilian photographer was brought to life on a dedicated website, which showcases the artist’s history and career through original recordings, photographs, and videos.
As part of the exhibition, the Fondation Cartier also joined forces with the editorial team of Les Inrockuptibles to create and produce a series of original podcasts that are now available online.
The Fondazione Prada, located in Milan, was also among the many contemporary arts and culture centers forced to close its doors in Italy earlier this month, but it has found a digital solution.
Via its social channels, the Fondazione Prada has launched a series of initiatives where is provides a daily look inside the Fondazione Prada‘s artworks and projects through video and pictures.
“With the aim of transforming a period of crisis into an opportunity for study and analysis, we experience new ways of operating and communicating,” it said in a statement.
“Fondazione Prada’s website and its social media channels turn into a laboratory of ideas, a flexible platform in which to test new formats and codes that will be able to develop in a further way in the future, beyond the current emergency.”
By following the hashtag “#InnerViews” for example, people can discover three recently opened exhibitions - “The Porcelain Room”, “Storytelling” and “K” - through a virtual experience made of interviews, images, and videos. Likewise, the hashtag #OuterViews will provide a look at what happens outside the foundations venues including a look at exhibitions held by international institutions and museums featuring Collezione Prada’s remarkable works.⠀
Among other hashtags to follow, the hashtag #PerfectFailures will also offer a new cinema project conceived by Fondazione Prada and Mubi, as of April 5.
Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
In London, The Victoria and Albert Museum closed its doors on March 18, but it continues to offer a wide range of content online for visitors to enjoy the museum’s collections and archives.
While it told Fashionnetwork.com that it will be “unveiling new digital initiatives in the coming weeks as [it] continue[s] to bring to life [its] collection and activities online,” its virtual gallery already offers a special look at fashion exhibitions including “Balenciaga: Master Craftsman” and “Schiaparelli and Surrealism”. Textile, jewelry, and dress all come to life via the museum’s platform on Google Arts and Culture.
It also offers a specially selected series of ebooks, V&A Fashion Perspectives, which includes autobiographies of fashion luminaries such as Bettina Ballard, Norman Hartnell and Elsa Schiaparelli.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has temporarily closed all of its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters—effective March 13, to support New York City's effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, and so it is revisiting its robust digital publishing program on social media.
With the hashtag #MetAnywhere, it is promoting its greatest hits and hidden treasures on social media, while keeping up with weekly favourites like #TuesdayTrivia and #MetSketch. On instagram, it has launched #MetCostumeFave encouraging followers to share their favourite piece from its collection of 33,000 objects and will feature its staff's choices on Fridays.
Similarly to the V&A museum, through the Google Arts and Culture platform, it also offers online exhibits including highlights on Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.
"The Museum's collection represents 5,000 years of the world's creative expression. As we are thinking of everyone in New York City and beyond in this exceptional time, we want to share the riches of the Museum's art and scholarship as a means for inspiration and connection,” said Max Hollein, director of The Met, in a statement.
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