Sabout this moment in the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari wrote that while short-term quarantine is critical, the real antidote to the epidemic would be cooperation rather than segregation. In a more palpable example of Harari's speech, on March 24th, cultural institutions around the world began to "send flowers" virtual to each other: paintings, photographs and other art forms began to be shared online along with messages of thanks, empathy and even poems.
Dear @americanart, we wanted to brighten your day with these apple blossoms by American painter Martin Johnson Heade.
—New-York Historical Society (@NYHistory) March 24, 2020
The action began with the New York Historical Society sending a picture of apple blossoms, by American painter Martin Johnson Heade, to the Smithsonian Museum. The museum was quick to pass the gift on to the next, allocating a bouquet of colorful flowers by H. Lyman Saien to the Akron Art Museum. Thus, the entities that received the bouquets began to reciprocate them, including more and more artistic institutions in the game.
It didn’t take long for this to turn into a real chain, with hundreds of museums – more than 300 institutions – participating with the hashtag #MuseumBouquet, filling your virtual spaces with images of flora.
The National Portrait Gallery, the MET and the Guggenheim are among the collaborators in this action to strengthen community spirit, especially in the art world, which was hit by the crisis – with the closing of the exhibitions and possible financial damages – and had to rethink actions aimed at the virtual environment as a way to stay active and deliver art to your audience.