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Museums are undoubtedly a site to visit physically, walk through its corridors and halls, watch a painting or a sculpture inside a beautiful architectural place. However, this is no longer possible and even though museums and institutions along the world are close to reopening, the way we visit them will change radically. During the crisis originated from the COVID-19, Museums and artistic centres have faced a particularly hard time, in which their capacity to innovate and adapt in the short, medium and long term will determine their success or failure.

Related articles: Times are Changing: the Forum of Italian Contemporary Art-Art in the time of corona-How to overcome the crisis?

 

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Digitalization

Many of the best known, museums have successfully created a digital presence for all ages which has made available their beautiful collections available all around the world. Cultural and artistic institutions like Opera houses or ballets have made live performances for everyone to safely watch from home. Museums from all over the world have used the huge potential of digital, offering virtual tours and unimaginable zoom-ins to their artworks in a way never done before.

These sorts of activities will probably continue to happen along with the crisis and even after. This poses a great opportunity for museums to continue reaching further audiences at the same time that they are making cultural and artistic content accessible for everyone with internet access.

Tickets and Online Store

E-tickets, many museums will probably start avoiding queues and passing papers between people and will focus into making easier to buy and use tickets from a smartphone as a way to facilitate entry and movement inside the venues. Online stores will have to be a new complimentary service to boost incomes. Buying at the museum store is a huge favourite of tourists and visitors. The possibility of watching new attractive e-stores with all sorts of products may soon become a reality and ordering that mug of your favourite painting can be very easy.  

More Space

Fewer people on the same space watching a painting will mean more freedom of movement to get close and far from a painting, this is great news, but it will probably come with a cost. Limited time to do it (in case of full days) and longer waiting lists to go into the museum in high season too. If museums are able to establish and schedule the visits it could flow smoothly but there is a chance this will be complicated. This will also mean less people inside museums in total which will result in less income for them. A proper strategy of people movement will be key to survival.

 

Museum Naradowe in Krakov. The presented photograph depicts the work of NMK team on art digitalization. Courtesy Museum Naradowe in Krakov  

 

Local Visitors

While border and transit between countries remain limited so will the number of tourists inside the cities and museums. This will mean museums will have to enlarge their efforts to attract local visitors within their walls. Changing the strategy through which they invite locals from all ages will help museums stay active. This also involves a big chance to bring museums and people together, reconfiguring museum, the relationship with the community and its relevance on its surroundings.

But Also, More International

While attendance to the insides of museums will be focused in the local community, the online tools for social media and web content creation and promotion, as we could see in the last months, continues to be a very useful way in bringing people together from all the world to digitally visit the museum. Along with a proper monetization of these audiences, art and culture industries might be able to stay afloat by keeping efforts in innovating and creating entertaining art content in their digital platforms.

Local Exhibitions

We will probably see a decrease in international exhibitions, especially for small and medium institutions since these involve high costs of production. With limited budgets, the opportunity to involve local artists from within the local regions or countries poses a chance to look within and reinforce the resident production of art and its artists.

Safety Measures

Social distancing will be a norm definitely inside museums, this might include setting glasses between people at counters and the audience, always the use of masks and new tools to reduce the interactions between people. Museum staff will not only watch you’re not too close to painting but not too close to anyone else! The launch of certain audio guides which can be used from a smartphone will avoid sharing and recycling the devices inside museums. Constant pauses to sanitize spaces can be also expected as a way to avoid further contagions. Museums face one of the biggest threats in history, but this poses a huge chance to make a difference, become relevant and closer to the people. Stay active, use budgets efficiently, go digital but also go local. We hope this might also allow institutions to increase their span to involve more people and most importantly keep culture and art alive.

Cover image: Photo taken by Alessandro, PoneLaPresseviaAP.

Written by Eduarda Alva Lòpez

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.
 

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