Explore Historic Sites’ Beautiful Art and Objects—Without Leaving Your Home
Today, forward-thinking museums are turning to the digital realm to make their collections, and the stories they tell, accessible to new and far-reaching audiences. And in the process, those museums are expanding their traditional roles and creating innovative ways to engage digitally with our past, present, and future—inspiring people to visit in person and learn even more.
The website not only makes these unique interpretive spaces more accessible, it also opens the door to telling a collective, dynamic story about our history and our national identity. While you can easily find specific objects by using the search box, the collection website offers much more than that.
“This website presents our collection in a series of curated virtual exhibits that highlight objects at individual sites and through themed exhibits that combine objects from multiple sites,” says Carrie Villar, acting vice president of Historic Sites at the National Trust.
At Villa Finale, for example, the Texana Art exhibit features the works of Western artists, who were once overlooked as provincial in the art world. Individual works, like a 1927 tryptic by Mary Bonner, include more detailed information about the artist's medium and background, as well as the piece's historic significance.
The kitchen exhibit shows how the space operated at the center of the American home, but also that the room’s form, function, and design vary depending on a variety of factors such as geography, class, and era. The women in art exhibit highlights the work and legacies of women artists, including their struggle for recognition over the course of history and in textual accounts of that history.
These cross-Site exhibits, according to Villar, “allow us to explore new storytelling and interpretation beyond our physical boundaries to engage new audiences with the collection.”
The online collection museum is an ongoing process as National Trust curators continue to add more objects and new exhibits, so be sure to check back often.
Explore the stories behind these fascinating objects and exhibits online—then head to a Historic Site near you!