The beauty and emotional power of art give humans comfort during difficult times. With museums and galleries closed around the world, the importance of the arts and our dependence on them for comfort and connection, and even as a livelihood for many, has been magnified.

A 68-bed treatment center has been constructed in Central Park’s East Meadow to treat overflow patients from nearby Mount Sinai Hospital.

The Metropolitan Museum in New York has asked staff, volunteers and supporters of the arts to send a letter, requesting help, to their representatives and to spread the word through social media, using the hashtag #CongressSaveCulture.

The Met has supported a request by the American Alliance of Museums asking Congress to direct $4 billion in federal funds to help nonprofit museums during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the doors of The Met are closed, the museum announced that it would continue paying its staff through May 2.

After The Met closed temporarily, other museums in New York and around the country followed suit, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Frick Collection and Library, the Shed, the Bronx Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Whitney and the Smithsonian.

And while museums in London, Paris, Spain, and other cities close, some art institutions in China, South Korea and Japan are beginning to reopen.

The Generosity of the Art World

Artists and staff members at major art institutions in New York have found creative ways to help during this critical time, by donating much needed protective gear for use in area hospitals.

Donated medical supplies were sent to the newly erected temporary hospital at the Javits Center in New York. Major New York institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum have donated face masks and gloves to medical professionals.

Art handlers at the Whitney Museum donated masks and shoe covers, MoMA has donated almost 3,000 nitrile gloves and three hundred N95 masks and employees at Cooper Union’s schools of art, architecture and engineering donated a box of N95 respirators, dozens of boxes of gloves, disinfecting wipes and 16 pairs of protective goggles, which they found when they scoured the school’s chemistry stockroom and chemical engineering lab.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and other prominent museums around the world have made it easy to take virtual tours of their galleries with Google Arts and Culture.

MoMA and other art institutions are offering educational resources on line and creative ways to display great art in your home with Art Projector.

The Boca Museum of Art is hosting  Keep Kids Smart With Art with tips for parents and free online activities.

Virtual Visits at Vertu Fine Art

We hope that you and your family and friends stay safe, healthy and serene during this difficult period. This might be a good time to go through our website and learn more about some of the artists whose works are in our gallery.  You can download our free ebook, How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints, to see why we are so passionate about fine art prints.

Some of our favorite artists, like Alex Katz, Donald Sultan, Derrick Adams and KAWS, live and work in New York. Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones.

References:
Zachary Small. Met Museum Tells Staff It Is Extending Pay Until May 2. The New York Times. March 30, 2020.
Liza Mazzola. Learning Curve: Art Resources for Teaching and Learning from Home.MoMA. March 19, 2020.
Matt Hickman. New York’s Javits Center completes transformation into 1,200 bed emergency hospital. The Architect’s Newspaper. March 30, 2020.
C. Todd Lopez. Corps of Engineers Converts NYC’s Davits Center Into Hospital. Department of Defense News. April 1, 2020.