CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Nov. 9 is National Go to an Art Museum Day! While West Virginia may not have the biggest selection when it comes to large-scale, high art displays, there are still places where people in north central West Virginia can go to appreciate local art and artists. And with the shift toward remote and virtual options, many world-renowned museums are now offering online exhibits that can be enjoyed for free right here in West Virginia.
Keep it local
The Art Museum of West Virginia University in Morgantown offers a range of different kinds of art in its ongoing and temporary galleries, from paintings to statues to publications and features work from artists both from West Virginia and otherwise. Permanent galleries include the McGee Gallery and the Campus Read offsite exhibition, and the museum is also currently featuring Rauschenberg in China: The Lotus Series.
The museum is open from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday, so you can’t visit in person on the 9th. However, the Art Museum of WVU also offers a virtual touring option for several of its galleries. During the virtual viewing, you can click around an on-screen depiction of the museum and view art pieces and at your own pace. Click here to see the virtual McGee Gallery.
Admission to the Art Museum of West Virginia University is free. More information about directions, parking and COVID guidelines can be found on the museum’s website. Information about special events can be found on its Facebook page.
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia (MAGWV) is located in Weston. Glass art holds a rich history in West Virginia. The goal of the museum is to “publish and preserve whatever may relate to the glass industry”, and it has artifacts and art from all periods of American Glass history. The museum features interactive displays, a gallery, a library and a museum shop. The newest displays at MAGWV include the Lady Jane Stained Glass Doll House.
In addition to its displays, the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia also features local artists and hosts art demonstrations and special events, including a Smithsonian traveling exhibition ‘Crossroads: Change in Rural America’ that is on display until Nov. 14. It has even been featured in Curator’s Choice Podcast.
The glass museum is located on Main Street in Weston and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia is free. Check the museum’s Facebook page for special events and features.
Other Museums in West Virginia
If you are able and willing to travel across West Virginia to see beautiful art, here are a few options across the state to get your ‘Go to an Art Museum’ Day fix.
The Oglebay Glass Museum in Wheeling offers a history and art museum hybrid experience. The museum boasts The Sweeney Punch Bowl which is the largest piece of led cut crystal ever made and over 3,000 other glass pieces. Walk-in workshops and demonstrations are also available where museum-goers can make their own glass paperweight.
The Oglebay Glass Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, but children 17 and under are admitted for free with a paying adult.
Most West Virginians know that the Clay Center in downtown Charleston offers a number of art and discovery displays. The Juliet Art Museum within the Center hosts traveling exhibitions and workshops in addition to its permanent art collection. The exhibit Through the Years: A Celebration of the Clay Center Collectors Club is on display until Jan. 23. The permanent collection has six categories including Pop Art and West Virginia Artists.
Upcoming workshops include Bookbinding on Dec. 11, where participants will create their own sketchbook. The cost for the workshop is $35, and participants must register ahead of time. Admission into the Clay Center is $9 for adults and $7.50 for children. Other Clay Center offerings include a planetarium, theater, and Discovery Museum.
The Huntington Museum of Art has several galleries on display including The Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for West Virginia which will run through Nov. 28, American Paintings featured through Feb. 13, and Latin American Roots featured through Jan. 9. HMOA also prioritizes education and offers classes for people of all ages who are interested in learning different art mediums. Classes are available at beginner and more advanced levels in photography, painting, drawing and ceramics.
In addition to the museum’s collection of art, it also has a conservatory that features Orchids, Agriculturally Important plants, Plants in the Unusual and two sculptures.
Some of the best museums in the world can be viewed from home on your computer. While a computerized version might not give the full experience of seeing a piece of art in person, it is a cost-efficient, safe and easy way to see faraway art.
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles offers virtual options for art exhibits and shows that are going on within its walls. Getty offers 37 interactive virtual exhibits that you can scroll through that have detailed views and descriptions of each art piece. Some of the online exhibits are Getty Highlights: 19th Century Paintings, Radical Whimsy: Victorian Women and the Art of Photocollage, Contemporary Voices in Asian American Photography, A Historic Black Right Protest and Fantastic Beasts of the Middle Ages. In addition to the online exhibits, virtual museum-goers can scroll through collections of photographed art and enjoy a virtual walk-through street view.
The Getty Museum is also offering free virtual versions of some of its theater shows. LIZASTRATA will be available to watch live online on Nov. 29. If you ever find yourself in LA and want to visit the museum in person, admission to the Getty Center and Getty Villa Museum is free.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands allows you to see one of the world’s most famous artist’s works up close. Two exhibits are available online: Which Books did Vincent van Gogh Read? and Vincent Van Gogh’s Love Life. You can also scroll through collections of his work in different genres and mediums. Street view version of four floors of the Van Gogh Museum can also be explored.
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Gwacheon-si, South Korea has eight online exhibits that can be viewed from the comfort of home as well as street view exploration of eight sections of the museum both indoor and outdoor.
For more options for virtual museum experiences, click here.