Museums around the world offer ‘Moment of Zen’ to ease people’s minds through art 

March 18th, 2020

When the new decade started, it sprung hope in us as we welcomed another opportunity to start anew—a fresh start to make things better in our lives. But clearly, the first quarter of the year was an emotional earthquake that also shook our mental stability, a wave of crippling anxiety brought upon by a global pandemic that had people trapped inside the four corners of their homes while the rest don’t have much choice but to continue their battle outside with an invisible yet deadly virus.

To say that things have been “stressful” lately would be the understatement of the year and we’re only down to the third month. And now that most public places are forced to shutdown and many of us are under quarantine, Museums around the world found a way to help those who are feeling extra anxious about the virus outbreak by sharing their most “zen” art pieces on social media. After all, in the most difficult times, sometimes we turn to art to try to make sense of life and find peace amid the chaos.

In order to help people take a break from the panic coverage and information overload about the COVID-19 outbreak on social media, the Museum of the City of New York started the hashtag #MuseumMomentofZen on Twitter and Instagram to share art pieces and imagery that will help them enjoy a little culture despite being in isolation.

We know there’s a lot of stressful news in your timeline, so here’s a #MuseumMomentofZen.

🎨: Herbert Bolivar Tschudy
The Turtle Tank, @nyaquarium, 1920
Museum of the City of New York, 47.141.3

— Museum of the City of NY (@MuseumofCityNY) March 11, 2020

Several museums from different parts of the world quickly joined in and contributed their own #MuseumMomentofZen entries.

We love this! Here's our #MuseumMomentOfZen:

Mosaic Panel with Peonies, Tiffany Studios, about 1900-1910. 77.4.91. #TiffanyStudios

— corningmuseum (@corningmuseum) March 11, 2020

Love this! Here's our #MuseumMomentofZen for the day!

🎨: George Inness, Sunrise in the Woods, 1887, oil on canvas. Gift of Frank and Katherine Martucci, The Clark, 2013.1.6

— Clark Art Institute (@the_clark) March 11, 2020

These cityscape paintings might help you remember the life in a bustling and peaceful city in a time of lockdowns, social distancing, and isolation.

Hey everyone, we know it's stressful out there, so here's a #MuseumMomentofZen

Akron and the rest of the nation were suffering an economic depression when Raphael Gleitsmann painted "Winter Evening" in 1932, but Gleitsmann created a cheery scene.

— Akron Art Museum (@AkronArtMuseum) March 16, 2020

Soak in this scene of the Hudson River waterfront. Which elements of this painting do you find the most soothing?

Zoom in on the brushstrokes here: #MuseumFromHome

— New-York Historical Society (@NYHistory) March 17, 2020

We invite you to take a breath and enjoy today's #MuseumMomentofZen.

🎨Claude Monet
'View of Bordighera,' 1884
The Armand Hammer Collection, Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

— Hammer Museum (@hammer_museum) March 13, 2020

You might also find a ray of sunshine and comfort in healing powers of nature as you scroll through these luscious landscape paintings.

We get our St. Patrick's Day green 🍀 from… luscious landscape paintings!

This 19th-century #MuseumMomentofZen by Irish painter James Arthur O’Connor is included in the #SDMAcollection.

The Museum wishes you a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day! 🍀 #SDMAYourWay #arthistory

— San Diego Museum of Art (@SDMA) March 17, 2020

While the bldg is closed, we’ll be exploring new ways to connect with Joslyn’s collections so you can enjoy the #MuseumFromHome. Here's our 1st #MuseumMomentofZen as we take a moment to reflect on the changes that we are making in our lives to support the health of our community.

— Joslyn Art Museum (@joslynartmuseum) March 17, 2020

While we may be closed, the treasures from our collection are available online by visiting anytime! Today we are highlighting Albert #Bierstadt’s “Sierra Nevada,” a true #MuseumMomentOfZen. #OnlineCollection #MuseumsOnTheWeb #ArtOnline #Reynolda #WFU

— Reynolda House (@CurateReynolda) March 17, 2020

Be the water.#MuseumMomentOfZen

John Fery, Milwaukee Looking Upon Lake Michigan, c. 1908. Oil on canvas, 22 1/4 x 42 3/4 in. Purchase through funds from Silver dollar Society. 2016.7.

— The Rockwell Museum (@RockwellMuseum) March 16, 2020

There's a #MuseumMomentofZen trending with museums posting images of calming scenes. Here's François Boucher's "Landscape with a Water Mill" from our European Art collection. Check out the other tweets to take a break from the stressful news in your timeline.

— Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (@nelson_atkins) March 12, 2020

Or find solace in these contemporary pieces, images, and a painting that depicts a peaceful life at home.

Take a deep breath and take a long look at today's #MuseumMomentofZen.

🎨 Stanton Macdonald-Wright
'On small islands also men till the earth while larks sing above,' 1966-67
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum. Gift of Anne and John Summerfield

— Hammer Museum (@hammer_museum) March 15, 2020

Good morning #workfromhome friends! A plump 🐝 on a globe thistle for our Monday #MuseumMomentofZen. (The museum’s garden is lovingly cared for by the amazing crew of the #DanburyGardenClub, and we are SO grateful.) #museumfromhome

— Danbury Museum (@DanburyMuseum) March 16, 2020

Take a moment to unwind and enjoy the natural imagery of this delicately embroidered bed-hanging by May Morris. The pair of curtains originally hung on founder George Booth's bed in Cranbrook House.

Thank you for inviting us to share a #MuseumMomentOfZen, @MuseumofCityNY!

— Cranbrook Art Museum (@CranbrookArtMus) March 11, 2020

We’re livestreaming #YayoiKusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room on IG at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 16. Experience a #MuseumMomentofZen and see what it’s like to be in this installation for longer than 45 seconds. Enjoy our art even when you're not here 😌 #TheBroadFromHome

— The Broad (@TheBroad) March 14, 2020

Take a pause from scrolling and breathe with this image of our shrine room.

Thanks for inspiring us to share a #MuseumMomentOfZen, @MuseumofCityNY! Our Buddhist shrine doesn't come from a Zen tradition but it is still a place to set intentions and center the mind and body.

— Rubin Museum of Art (@RubinMuseum) March 11, 2020

Today's artwork may tell a lot about the art of the Fauves and about the Hahnloser Collection. But today it says a lot about your and our new everyday life, a life at home.
Stay home and stay healthy 🙏#ClosedButActive #MuseumMomentofZen #KunstTrotzCorona #HenriManguin

— ALBERTINA Museum (@AlbertinaMuseum) March 17, 2020

May this be a reminder to all of us that it’s okay to take a deep breath, pause, and find moments of zen if we’re feeling overwhelmed by our current situation. Art is everywhere for everyone to find hope and inspiration as we all try to get through this, one day at a time.

INQPOP! Stories we think you might also like: