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If You Can’t Make It to the Lecture – NYTimes.com

3-26-14

JANIS LOEWENGART YERINGTON, an artist from Bolinas, Calif., became a fan of online museum lectures after seeing the touring Vermeer painting, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.“

I enjoyed it so much when it was at the de Young, I followed its progress across the country,” she said.She watched a lecture online from the Frick Collection in New York — which recently displayed the Vermeer painting — by Emilie Gordenker, director of the Mauritshuis, the painting’s home in the Netherlands. She has since watched other Frick lectures online, including one on the museum’s Bellini painting, “St. Francis in the Desert.”

“I grew up in New Jersey, was an art history major in college, and the lectures are a way for me to revisit the museum and expand my knowledge of pieces I’m familiar with,” she said.

The Frick two years ago began streaming its lectures live and archiving them online for viewing anytime — one of many museums that offer such programming to the global public, generally free. Among the first was the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington in 2006. Three years later, it and three other American museums were asked by the Indianapolis Museum of Art to start ArtBabble, a website that aggregated their video programming. ArtBabble now offers videos from 60 museums across the United States and overseas.

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