Friday, July 12, 2024

Jana Matusz’ “Face to Face: Portraits of Museum Animals” is online courtesy of the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

In the spirit of celebrating the 50th Earth Day while remembering social distance during a coronavirus outbreak, the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture posted a list of activities this week, including the worldwide “City Nature Challenge.” Participation is simple: Just find wildlife in any form – plant or animal – take a snapshot, and upload it to the connected iNaturalist app. This year’s event is not a competition, the founders say, but more of an exercise in “the healing power of nature” that helps people around the world “document their local biodiversity in whatever way they can.” Submission of photos runs for three days, through Monday. From Tuesday through May 3, species in the photos will be identified.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology also has exhibits that can be enjoyed for free online. (Photo: Peabody Museum)

If you’re missing the days of museum touring, take notice: The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology hosts a variety of photographic exhibitions that can be viewed online for free. Among those featured are “Heads and Tales: Adornments from Africa”; “Spying on the Past: Declassified Satellite Images and Archaeology”; “Masterpieces of the Peabody Museum”; “A Good Type: Tourism and Science in Early Japanese Photographs”; and many more. Each exhibit is split into multiple sections, with images accompanied by blurbs with historical information. If you’d prefer a 3D experience, the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (from 1889 until April 15, known as The Harvard Semitic Museum) has posted a first-person virtual tour of the building for “visitors” to enjoy until quarantine ends.

In a similar vein, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments has put together an online catalog of its collections, while the Harvard Museum of Natural History is running an online exhibit by Jana Matusz called “Face to Face: Portraits of Museum Animals” – expressive prints depicting a lineup of animals featured in the museum.