A fully comprehensive virtual museum
Until this transformative digital reinvention Ben Uri, like so many small but purposeful institutions was restricted in its ability to widely engage outside it’s locale by the physical limitation of a space and location. This film explains the context of the small and medium sized museum sector which represents over 80% of all UK museums and the rationale and journey in creating benuri.org.
This pioneering virtual museum has been designed over the past two years to substitute the large, centrally-located museum building that was, for 20 years and more, our ambition but which constantly proved unaffordable in price and unviable in running costs.
This new, expansive, perfectly located, widely-encompassing, virtual museum has incurred no costs to buy, build or refurbish; no business rates; no utility costs; no security and staffing costs and it can be extended at will, with no planning permissions required and no rebuilding costs. It is open 24/7 every day of the year whenever is most convenient for you to visit; there are no social distancing or health risks; no entry fees and no travel costs. We are as accessible to London Ontario, London Arizona, London Island, Chile, as we are to London England. See Press Release.
In response to the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic, the adoption of digital engagement has accelerated at an unprecedented pace across society and the cultural sector. Post the pandemic the vast majority of institutions will revert to their core physical-based operating models. Ben Uri, however, will continue to invest in the digital arena and to engage through 20 different digital platforms, all of which lead back to this new virtual museum.
All our programming initiatives and ingredients stem from the imaginative use of our distinctive and growing museum collection which uniquely represents the Jewish and immigrant contribution to British visual art since 1900.
Ben Uri was founded in 1915 in Whitechapel in the Jewish East End of London and this new concept virtual museum represents our future - our second century of engagement. From here we will fulfil our charity objects and generate valuable relationships with you, through innovative sharing of our scholarship and research projects, collections, archives, exhibitions, digital catalogues, films, podcasts, schools and family learning, and our important, pioneering arts and health institute.
We invite you to explore this virtual museum regularly, as it constantly evolves, with new research, exhibitions, films and much more being regularly added, so you can share in the many unexpected and quality experiences.
Redefined gallery in London's St John's Wood
When safe to do so our gallery will reopen and present an expanded comprehensive art library and archives across the lower floor. The ground floor remains dedicated to scholraly exhibitions reflecting the focus of the Ben Uri Research Unit. This reconfiguration reinforces the academic focus of the institution, led by the Ben Uri Research Unit, charged with research and digital recording of the Jewish and Immigrant contribution to British visual culture since 1900.