UT’s Harry Ransom Center Among Participants in Museum Week’s Celebration of Crisis Workers

by Christopher Blay May 11, 2020

Museum-Week-2020Museum Week, an international social-media “festival” which launched in 2014, starts its sixth celebration of museums this week. Organized by French non-profit Culture For Causes Network, the UNESCO- supported group promotes museums, galleries, and other art institutions with its global social-media program.


“Group of Dancers, bronze, Chhattisgarh, India,” for Museum Week, 2020.

This year’s theme is Togetherness, with today’s focus on crisis workers with the hashtag #heroesMW. A statement on Museum Week’s website reads in part:

The health crisis linked to the coronavirus has reinforced our desire to promote this universal message, and to have MuseumWeek be a support for confined populations and for those who fight against this disease. We want to highlight the power of culture, art, and the institutions that support them and their unique ability to bring us together.

After today’s focus celebrating COVID-19 pandemic crisis workers, Museum Week programming continues through Friday, May 15, with a new hashtag each day. Tuesday’s #CultureInQuarantineMW is inspired by a Getty Museum initiative (#ArtInQuarantine), and on Thursday, #togetherMW and #MuseumMomentsMW follows the theme of Museum Week 2020. For Friday, #climateMW will focus on climate change, and #technologyMW on Saturday will be about museums and technology. The final hashtag of the week will be to inspire, with #dreamsMW.


The largely European focus of Museum Week is not without input from US Museums, including Austin’s Harry Ransom Center, which posted Gordon Conway’s The Red Cross Girl, 1918 Study for a 1918 Vanity Fair magazine cover. “Today we celebrate #heroesMW and in honor of #NationalNursesWeek (May 6 – 12), we want to say thank you to the incredible #nurses who are bravely facing the COVID-19 crisis head on,” the post states.


Gordon Conway, “The Red Cross Girl, 1918 Study for a ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine cover,” 1918. Gordon Conway Papers.

New York’s Guggenheim Museum‘s Instagram posts today honor and celebrate the museum’s frontline staff. The post today reads, in part:

“As Paul, the museum’s watch engineer, puts it— ‘The empty museum is a constant reminder of the exceedingly difficult period my coworkers, and the city, are going through. It’s a surreal time, and I hope everyone in the Guggenheim family is staying safe and healthy.'”


Guggenheim Museum’s Watch Engineer Paul, celebrated on the first day of Museum Week.

The United States Holocaust Museum posted an image of Janusz Korczak with children and staff members from his orphanage in Warsaw.


Photo: Janusz Korczak with children and staff members from his orphanage in Warsaw, before it was moved into the ghetto. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Shlomo Nadel

The Andy Warhol Museum posted Andy Warhol’s Hospital Bed, c. 1954, with the caption “We thank all of the heroes working on the front lines of this health crisis.”


Andy Warhol, “Hospital Bed”, c. 1954, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

A post from the The Barnes Foundation reads, in part:

“For today’s theme #HeroesMW, we salute all essential workers facing the front lines during the #COVID19 crisis––healthcare professionals, first responders, grocery employees, including post office and delivery workers who keep our mail and packages arriving at the front door!”

Vincent van Gogh. The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889.

Vincent van Gogh. The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889.

Each museum listed here, along with other participants, will post content following the hashtags listed above through this weekend.

To learn more about Museum Week, please visit the website here.

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