The New Landscape of Philadelphia’s Virtual Galleries!

The local art world evolves in the wake of a pandemic with a new medium to explore exhibition arts.

While there is nothing new about art and civic exhibitions in a virtual setting, there is something bold about going forth when it’s either that way or the highway in regards to showing an artist’s new material, foundational works. Consider the example of the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia – a collection whose very nature speaks to the currency of COVID-19.

Nothing speaks more to this moment than the Mütter’s “Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Philadelphia,” that we essayed back in October, and at present, that collection is represented by the museum’s own YouTube channel and guided discussions of the “Spit” show with the curator of the Mütter Museum, Anna Dhody, and special guest mortician and author, Caitlin Doughty. Other parts of the museum’s audio-visual presentation allow the viewer to peer into the Mütter’s traditional totems such as its babies in a jar and its longest ever… everything. There’s even a viral exhibition about “Going Viral: Infection Through the Ages,” to be found.

“Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Philadelphia”
at the Mütter Museum.

The Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) at 704 Catharine Street is a literal (row) home away from home when it comes to an intimate exhibition setting and quietly bold innovation. Currently attempting to continue building community through art during the time of social distance. “DVAA hopes to resume business as usual as soon as it becomes safe for the staff and members,” wrote Executive Director Jarrod Markman in an email. “In the meantime, we will continue to do what we do best: foster community for artists, showcase the creativity of our membership and plan for the rest of the year, including the presentation of a number of exciting exhibitions and Da Vinci Fest.” 

“David Meade Walker: Figure drawings, Portraits and Landscapes”
at the Da Vinci Art Alliance.

DVAA will connect their membership and the public through social media through its Instagram and Facebook story features. #DaVinciAtADistance launches today, March 20, via the organization’s social media outlets. If you’re feeling generous, DVAA offers a special 30% discount for new, first time DVAA members. Use the code: FIRSTTIME at checkout.

Philadelphia Photo Arts, North American Street’s holy mouse for the still image will be talking their exhibition and education forces to the net degree by offering the public a full schedule of photographic events, classes, lectures, and workshops, all to be held online, as of March 23, pushing Philadelphia photo bugs to, in the words of the PPA’s Executive Director Sarah Stolfa “continue creating in times of uncertainty.”

“Ten Years” at the Philadelphia Photo Art Center.

Certainly, there are more to come, and we’ll add additional items, and create additional features about virtual Philadelphia’s new world of exhibition arts.


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