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Five YouTube Videos About Ancient Art to Keep you Distracted During #Coronavirus

We're all spending a lot more time at home. Fortunately, the internet is still working (for now). While it is tempting to keep hitting refresh on the news, it's a better idea to take advantage of all the great online cultural resources online. Museums have been slow to embrace online video as a way to connect with the public, but they are starting to ramp up their efforts in this area. Here are 5 YouTube videos (old and recent) about ancient art worth checking out.

1. Egyptian Museum of Turin (Museo Egizio): Director's Walks

The Egyptian Museum of Turin has started releasing a series of videos on youtube entitled "The Director's Walks". The first one is titled "Egypt and the Savoy family" - it concerns some highlights of the museum's collection and the history of their acquisition. In Italian, but with English subtitles. The museum has posted several other videos featuring commentary on other objects in their collection, as well. Hopefully other museums will follow their example!

2. Liebieghaus (Frankfurt): Gods in Color - Golden Edition

Think marble statues were meant to be displayed as bright and white? Think again! The Liebieghaus exhibition, "Gods in Color" featuring the research of Vinzenz Brinkmann in revealing the importance of polychromy, has toured around the world. The latest version of the exhibition "Gods in Color - Golden Edition" is on display in the Liebieghaus museum in Frankfurt, but is currently closed due to the pandemic. You can still enjoy the artworks - which includes a number of reconstructions of Greek statues in all their brilliant glory. Video is in German but with English subtitles.

3. From Nefertiti to Beuys - Berlin's Museums (Deutscheworld Documentary, 2019)

Part 1 of a two part documentary exploring some of the most admired objects/monuments on display on Berlin's Museum Island. Beautifully shot, with a narrative that isn't too cheesy, this informative documentary features the Bust of Nefertiti, the Berlin Golden Hat, the Gate of Ishtar from Babylon, and Mesopotamian cylinder seals, among other objects and stories about the museum's collections. In English and German, with subtitles.

4. British Museum, "Conservation"

Ever wonder about the management and care of collections, what goes on behind the scenes of the world's biggest museums? Check out this short video interview with one of the BM's conservationists.

5. Metropolitan Museum, "Art in Public Places" (1973)

The Met is releasing movies from their archives. Step back in time to Manhattan 1973 to enjoy the public art of the city (and the retro documentary style). Not much ancient art here, but there is an obelisk and, of course, some neoclassical works.

Have you found a favorite youtube video showcasing ancient art? Let me know in the comments below!

- JN


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