Visitors to the Timken’s website can binge-watch on the museum’s YouTube channel as the museum curator takes the viewer on a deep dive into selected works and the artists who created them.
Two fascinating additions to the Timken Museum of Art’s website are Curator’s Corner and Work of the Week. Prior to COVID-19 making its journey around the world resulting in a hiatus for just about everyone and a significant change to daily life, Derrick Cartwright, PhD, the Timken’s director of curatorial affairs, and Megan Pogue, the museum’s executive director, had been discussing ways to make the Timken more welcoming and inclusive and to take the visitor behind the scenes offering a more comprehensive discussion of the art and artist. Their intent was to also “demystify” some of the works in the Timken collection and explain the origin, meaning and little known facts about the art.
With the Timken temporarily closed but the mission of the museum to serve very much ongoing, Curator’s Corner was born. So far, Cartwright has produced a half a dozen, approximately 15-minute video episodes of Curator’s Corner that includes Eastman Johnson’s Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket (1880), Unraveling a Mystery from the Timken’s Vaults which also features the Putnam sisters whose original collection serves as the foundation of the Timken Museum’s collection, Changing Attributions at the Timken covering works from the 15th, 17th and 19th centuries and Another Look Captivating Women from the Dijkstra Collection (from San Diego-based collectors Bram and Sandra Dijkstra), the stunning exhibition that opened earlier this year but was interrupted due to the pandemic.
Work of the Week
While Curator’s Corner was part of a plan to bring art to the public and examine the Timken’s collection in greater depth, Work of the Week grew directly out of the decision to temporarily close the Timken when COVID-19 hit.
As Cartwright explains, Work of the Week reminded him of how the National Gallery in London moved its collection for safety purposes during the Blitz of World War II and how the public suffered without being able to see those treasured objects. Once a week, the staff of the National Gallery brought a work back to London from Wales and put it on display in the museum lobby. Londoners queued up for hours to see a single painting.
“While COVID-19 is an entirely different situation, the experience of missing art and wanting to be reminded of great artistic creations is similar particularly when public spirits may be low,” commented Cartwright. “In a modest way, Work of the Week seeks to reflect on the Timken objects that bring joy to our visitors and reconsider them in light of the current health crisis.”
Begun eight weeks ago, Work of the Week feature portraits, landscapes, interiors and objects including Mrs. Thomas Gage, John Singleton Copley, 1771; Parable of the Sower, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1557); Interior of The Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, Emanuel de Witte, 1657; and In the Library, John Frederick Peto, 1900.
To explore the art featured in Curator’s Corner and Work of the Week, visit www.timkenmuseum.org and follow the links listed under “Art.”