an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

A Fitting and Fun Christmas Art Initiative

Many American museums ignore Christmas–except for the cards and gifts they sell in their shops and, sometimes, secular decorations. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn today of a new effort at the National Gallery in London.

TheAngelTrailHome, as you all know, to one of the greatest painting collections in the world, all dating from the 13th to the early 20th centuries, the NG has started a four-week series of four short videos to guide visitors through the museum this month on, of all things, angels. They call it “The Angel Trail.”

The videos, only one of which has been released, are posted on the National Gallery You Tube channel. In less than four minutes, curators and the NG’s new director Gabriele Finaldi, discuss how prevalent angels are in art history, and not just in Nativity scenes. Angels are present in many kinds of pictures. through the Baroque period (at least).

The video ends with an invitation to take The Angel Trail on your own visit to the NG. Or, you can use the pictures reproduced on the web here, to look from home. The second part of this short series will be released this coming Friday, and the next two on subsequent Fridays.

In years past, I think, the NG has also offered a Nativities Trail. (In fact, it has a lot of trails.)

While I sampling the Angel video, I had a look at some of the NG’s longer videos–one on Velasquez, for example, and they are delightful too. Serious but not boring. Full of information. Well done, NG!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the National Gallery


an ArtsJournal blog