If you’re looking for ways to enrich your days, and nights, — maybe even be inspired to get a little creative? Here are some incredible ways Toronto museums and galleries are bringing their collections and exhibitions to your home. Explore artwork, get behind the scenes, and learn from the artists and curators.
Art Gallery of Ontario: AGO From Home brings virtually brings visitors into the galleries through unique access to stories and experiences. Take a closer look at the artwork in the gallery’s collections and maybe discover something new. Learn about the work and the stories behind them. Experience some interesting moments at the AGO including Mick Jagger in concert with the Thomson Collection of Ships. Feeling creative? The AGO includes DIY and How-to videos. Parents and teachers can also tap into the AGO’s teachers’ resource for additional insight.
Royal Ontario Museum: With 46, 637 pieces online to explore the ROM offers an extensive and fascinating look into the priceless pieces from around the world and what’s also in the vaults behind the scenes. And it doesn’t stop there. Home to over 13 million pieces of artwork, cultural objects, natural history, artifacts and more, the ROM continues to add to its online content for everyone to enjoy right in their own homes and at their own pace. Now that it’s springtime, families may be interested in exploring the butterfly & insect collection.
Aga Khan Museum: The curators, educators, and cultural programmers have collaborated on #MuseumWithoutWalls to showcase the best of the collections online. View captivating art and artifacts, interact directly with artists and curators via live webinars and gallery tours, download hands-on learning activities for children and more. Take a virtual 3D tour of the Museum’s Bellerive Room which is home to 60 pieces from the ceramic collection of the lates Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and Princess Catherine Aga Khan. More virtual tours will be added in the coming weeks. New content will be posted regularly to the Aga Khan Museum’s social platforms. Many of the experiences will tie into the exhibitions and events scheduled to take place at the Museum this spring and summer. Twice weekly there will be “Pocket-Performances” that feature the diverse sights and sounds from local and international performance artists. Also included is a new Spotify playlist programmed by the Museum’s Performing Arts team that tap into the themes and emotions in the upcoming Sanctuary exhibition — a collection of 36 woven carpets designed by leading contemporary artists.
Gardiner Museum: The Gardiner Museum is home to fascinating historical ceramics from around the world as well as contemporary works by some of the most important artists today. Their latest digital initiative, #GardinerFromHome, features pieces from the museum’s collection of over 4,000 objects with an emphasis on works that speak to the current social climate. Follow them on social media for interesting morsels and insights about the works. You can also access 8 online exhibitions, spanning all areas of the collection, through Google Arts & Culture. Approximately 200 objects are currently featured, with plans to add more. Right now there’s a particularly interesting exhibition titled Northern Visions: Contemporary Inuit Ceramics. The Gardiner’s YouTube channel features studio demonstrations, interviews, and performances, including recent footage from the sold-out world premiere of Cassils’ Up To and Including Their Limits. You can also access interesting articles on the Gardiner Blog, including Five Groundbreaking Women Ceramists You Need To Know and Coming in Hot: How Teapot Racing is Gaining Steam.
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival: The 24th edition of the city’s annual festival of photography exhibitions and public installations is adapting to the current landscape by revealing a selction of artwork (some for the first time) now live through the Festival’s official website. The online exhibition will include works from its Primary Exhibitions in collaborations with major museums, galleries, and artist-run centres, plus profiles on its Featured Exhibitions selected from submissions. Open Call Exhibitions will feature a range of works by local and international artists at the galleries and alternative spaces across the city. Continue to watch for updates on the CONTACT’s Public Installation program
Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA): Now is a great time to catch up on some of the great talks that have recently happened at the The Museum of Contemporary Art here in the city. Archived videos are uploaded on the site including Alan Emery in conversation with Jonathon Gatehouse. Emery (marine biologist) and Gatehouse (journalist) discuss changes in the oceans and how the shifts have impacted Canada where three oceans meet the land. Learn about the creative process with Carlos Bunga as he uses mass-produced materials in his installations. Watch Age of You Curators (Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, Victoria Sin, and November Paynter) as they share ideas of what they call “The Extreme Self” and more.
Textile Museum of Canada: 15,000 objects from 200 regions worldwide spanning 2,000 years are online to explore. The collection takes visitors virtually beyond what is physically shown in the Museum. Includes featured works from ceremonial rugs to woven textiles from various cultures around the world.
Bata Shoe Museum: Check into the Museum’s social media platforms as they feature virtual tours of current exhibitions and online exhibition. Currently featuring Standing TALL: The Curious History of Men in Heels. Test your footwear history on their Instagram Stories. Tune into their YouTube Channel for interesting content that takes viewers behind the scenes in the Museum vault in the “The World at Your Feet” series.
Myseum of Toronto: The “museum without walls” offers the chance to explore art, culture and history virtually including special programming through exhibitions and events. Over the next few weeks, they will launch a series of exhibitions as part of their Intersections Festival- Quarantine Edition. They also been adding new content to the collection of Toronto Stories – a series of diverse historical narratives that acknowledge the impact of under-represented communities. The most recent exhibit tells the story of Canada’s Black Railway Porters and their fight for equality. The next installment of Myseum Connects series, where they partner with community leaders from small and major organizations to strengthen the cultural sector in Toronto will be announced shortly. These panel/networking events will be held online over Zoom (starting April 15) and will tackle topics like art, frontline workers, community care, and mental health and wellbeing, all during the time of COVID.