Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection Comes to You
About the practice
The Peggy Guggenheim collection had already established a strong online presence, but before the pandemic it was mainly used as a support to their in-presence activity, a way to invite the public to see the come to the museum in Venice.
The situation of necessity due to the pandemic brought the museum to the need of reorganizing their online presence, that became their main activity in a period of forced lockdown; they have exported the museum on their online channel and made it available to the people at home.
This has been possible through two main activities:
1) Some of the activities organized already in presence have been adapted. It is the case of the „Art Talks”, that used to be short speeches made for free at the museum by the interns, and that became still short speeches made by the interns but recorded from their houses. This has made the activity closer to the people, with whom they shared this situation of being forced to stay at home by recording in a domestic setting.
The second case is the „Kids Day”, the activities for children the museum already implemented every Sunday afternoon at 15. These have become tutorials, posted on their website and on their YouTube page, at the same time and day.
2) The museum has created a schedule of online activities that didn’t exist before, such as Art Quiz every Tuesday evening, or the reading of the autobiography of Peggy Guggenheim by her niece, the director of the museum, every Friday. This way, the museum has created a recognizable scheme that attracted the public to the specific activity they were interested to, as they knew when that would be.
The museum incremented their posting activity during the lockdown, creating more than one content every day.
While it has been the Social Media Manager who worked mainly on this project, it is notable to say that also one intern, had the chance to create one of the activities of the schedule, the „5 facts”, a feature about artists and their life, to share some less known facts about them and make them known as humans and not only as artists. This has impacted the public, especially as this content is something everyone can relate to, and not just art experts.
About the institution
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection has organized, during the pandemic, a weekly program on its social media channels, in order to keep sharing the content of the collection and the knowledge of its staff with the public. Every week it has organized different activities, each linked to its personal hashtag, about both the content of the collection and its temporary exhibition, about the life of Peggy Guggenheim and various anecdotes about her, and about contemporary history.
The Peggy Guggenheim collection used to have roughly 1300 visitors each day before the pandemic, and in March 2020 they had no visitors anymore due to the pandemic outbreak
Venice, Veneto region, Italy.
Connection, adaptation, social
This good practice has as target the general public, families and children especially, who experienced the lockdown and had more free time to spend and was using social media more than they used to before.
In particular it was addressed at first especially to the Italian public, as it was the first country in Europe that went into lockdown. This is visible in the language choice of the content; where before English was the main used language, in this project the majority of the content is available in both English and Italian.
This is a good practice that doesn’t require a big economic investment to be reproduced.
Today many cultural institutions already have online channels that can be used to implement activities similar to this best practice. The difference is in the time that is required to create such contents, which can be too much for the already present social media staff and might require more people to be run.
On the other hand, the success of this best practice is also linked to the strong social media presence the Collection had already established with its public.
The technological tools used for this Best Practice are easily accessible and don’t need specific knowledge to be used. The content share on social media has been mainly recorded with common tools, even such as smartphone in the case of the interns. Therefore there wasn’t a need of training the staff in using the tools, neither producing it comported too many obstacles.
The good practice has been financed only by the Peggy Guggenheim collection
The Collection already had a wide public before the pandemic and was built during the pandemic on a success they had already gained. In addition, the nature of these institutions made it easy to find content to create for visual social media like Instagram, but that can be different for other kinds of cultural activities (e.g., theatres).