People around the world have collectively put on their sweatpants and virtually gone to work and school on home computers from the comfort of their couch. COVID-19 has drastically changed the landscape of work, school, and play. Museums around the world have been one of the first industries to open their virtual doors to pajama-clad visitors, most free of charge. With their beautiful website and a grant from Google Tech, the Hutchings Museum in Lehi welcomes visitors from the comfort of their living room. Or kitchen. Or bathroom.
The Hutchings Museum is continuing work cataloging and photographing their collection of natural and cultural history through a grant from Google Tech. With funds from this grant, much of the collection can be seen online through not only the museum’s beautiful website but through Google Arts & Culture, an online platform where the public can access high-resolution images of artworks from partner museums around the world.
“The museum is currently closed due to COVID-19 and all part-time staff has been temporarily laid off so they can apply for unemployment benefits that are open to them. We have the LDS missionaries and volunteers still working on cataloging and conservation projects with the city of Saratoga Springs and the Jordan River Commission,” said Museum Director Daniela Larsen. “Under the direction of the city, we have just finished a deep cleaning and disinfection of the museum, and are following recommendations of not having more than 7-10 people working together outside, and social distancing of at least six feet in the museum for missionaries and volunteers,” Larsen continued.
The Hutchings Museum is home to a wide variety of exhibits from the natural and cultural sciences. By downloading the Google Arts & Culture app, virtual visitors can view hundreds of items from Native American pottery and clothing, to one of a kind rock and mineral formations.
Google Arts & Culture app is available on all platforms and free to download or can be visited online at artsandculture.google.com. From the app or the website, a quick search for the Hutchings Museum directs visitors to view hundreds of museum artifacts already online, as well as exhibits and virtual walk-throughs of museums around the globe.
The Hutchings Museum’s website, johnhutchingsmuseum.org, has information on all their exhibits. With beautiful photography as well as engaging videos for visitors of all ages, as part of the days’ homeschool efforts, or as a pallet cleanse from streaming movies, a virtual visit to the museum is highly recommended.