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Getty Museum Challenge

In the new way of life created by the COVID-19 pandemic, people are relying more and more on social media for entertainment. Museums are no longer able to rely on patrons visiting their collections and have turned to virtual tours to continue offering their art to the masses. When these two things come together, the result is the highly amusing Getty Museum Challenge.

On March 25th, the Getty Museum issued a challenge to creatives all over the world on their social media accounts. They asked people to recreate some of their favorite pieces of art using only the items they found in their own homes. It was an idea inspired by a project being done at a museum in Amsterdam. Within a week, thousands and thousands of pictures were submitted, far surpassing what the museum had been expecting as far as participation. They suggested people use their own digital media library to find pieces to recreate, but people began reaching beyond that for inspiration.

A Twitter user recreates Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ with his pet pug Dotty. (Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program)

People are getting creative in what they use to represent these famous pieces of art. Many turn to household items, from toilet paper, to dustpans and food from their own refrigerators. Often family members and pets also become part of the project, making it a household affair. Some of the attempts come closer to the originals than others, but even the most far reaching interpretations add an amusing break to the day.

Madonna and Child by Master of St. Cecilia and a recreation sent to The Getty Collection by Facebook user Larissa. (Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program)

The steps to posting your own submission are easy. You will want to start with a piece of art you love, since this is going to be a bit of work. Pick three objects around the house that you want to include. They can be people, pets, objects or furniture. Use a smartphone or digital camera to take the photo. You can enlist someone to help or utilize the timer to take the shot and it is recommended you take multiples then pick the best one. Finally, post it to the Getty Museum’s Facebook page, or upload it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #betweenartandquarentine and #tussenkunstenquarentine. The Getty Museum’s blog even provides some helpful tips to make your project better.

Here are some of the pieces available on our site that might provide you with some inspiration:

Leonardo Da Vinci - Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci

Johannes Vermeer - Girl with a Pearl Earring

The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

Edvard Munch - The Scream

The Scream by Edvard Munch

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss (Full view)

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

Vincent Van Gogh - Starry Night

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Take some time to look through our various subject galleries until you find the perfect piece to motivate you to join the challenge. Have fun making masterpieces at home!

Amanda Hadley

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.