Édouard Manet, Jeanne (Spring) (1881). Re-creation: Jeannette Hulick.
This spring, as people around the world were acclimating to life in lockdown, the Getty Museum asked its social media followers to participate in a challenge. The rules were simple: recreate your favorite work of art with three items in your home and post an image of it online.
You undoubtedly saw examples: bored quarantiners plotted out starry nights in dried pasta and aped the august ruffs of Old Master subjects using toilet paper rolls; they dressed their dogs up as pearl-earring’d girls and penciled in unibrows for Frida Kahlo selfies.
The project was a rare example of visual art crossing over into the broad cultural consciousness on a massive scale. And what’s more, it managed to do so in a way that felt demonstrably inclusive, communal, and educational—adjectives that appear in just about every museum’s mission statement.