Many museums today – military and veterans museums included – incorporate virtual components and rotating exhibits to complement their physical locations. With the coronavirus pandemic spreading, forcing museums to close and people to stay indoors, now would be a perfect time to see what some museums have to offer online … and maybe make plans for a future visit.
National WWI Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.: current online exhibitions include “The Rise of Giving: American Philanthropy and WWI,” “War Fare: From the Homefront to the Frontlines” about the effects of food on the war, and “Curator's Tour,” a “narrated, immersive tour of the galleries.” The museum also offers an online collections database, and educational resources. And its bimonthly program “Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle” will go virtual on April 4. Along with the knitting, public program specialist Camille Kulig will discuss the rise of modern art in the 1910s and 1920s. RSVPs by knitters and the general public are encouraged at my.theworldwar.org/6006.
National World War II Museum, New Orleans: Among the options are “Road to Tokyo,” the U.S. Merchant Marine Gallery and “The D-Day Invasion of Normandy.” Educator resources are available, and distance learning for all ages.
National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: Exhibits that cover the whole of the Navy’s long history include “The Forgotten Wars of the Nineteenth Century,” “Steel Navy” and “Covert Submarine Operations.” Distance learning options include school curriculums.
Pritzker Military Museum and Library, Chicago: A virtual tour of the museum is available (must have, or download, Adobe Flash Player 9/10 or higher). Pritzker offers many ways to explore military history - from past exhibits, to digital archives, to reading lists curated by the five service branches and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Cold War Museum, Warrenton, Va.: Although somewhat off the beaten path, this museum offers a host of online exhibits, including “Patches Collection” to “Cold War Artwork” to “KGB/Stasi Prison.”
Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, New York City: The museum known for its accompanying ship has put all its digital resources together on one page. Virtual talks will be held weekly.
Meanwhile, the Emil A. Blackmore Museum at American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis is entering a new phase of its online offerings. The first exhibit on the Omeka platform, "For My Country: The Life and Service of Franklin D'Olier," tells the story of the Legion's first national commander. More exhibits, including an updated virtual tour, are scheduled for future release.
Be sure to keep up with the museums on social media for the latest on new and ongoing virtual options.