Museum at Home Interactive Blog: Photo Challenge

Every Friday of our Museum in Exile Program is our Museum at Home Interactive Blog Day!

We will recount stories and photos of our staff and board member’s personal experiences while in quarantine, and invite audiences to join us in the various interactive challenges we come up with to entertain ourselves at home. This is an extraordinary period we are living through, and any content we receive from you during these challenges will be added to the Museum’s digital collection for future analysis by historians.

So much of day to day life has adapted so quickly to the new necessity of social distancing and quarantine. In only a few short days, events have been cancelled or postponed, many are now working from home, and communication is highly reliant on digital technology. In fact, the use of technology has become a defining feature in this pandemic. With so much of our existence now tied to the internet, we are far more connected than any of our ancestors would have been. As a result, we are uniquely privileged as no generation of humanity has been before to document our experiences.


These images from our collection feel very familiar to today. Were they social distancing or just enjoying nature?  Stuck inside with empty streets during a quarantine?

As museum staff, our work is necessarily so tied to the physical space in which we operate, but this transition to digital exhibition has led us to consider the ways in which our work and even our own personal lives have shifted.



Digitizing the Collection

In the last decade, a major push in the greater museum world has involved the documentation and application of our collection items to online platforms. In this time, the necessity for this level of accessibility has become especially clear! Last week our Program Coordinator, Karyn Radcliffe, digitized some of our painting collection to use in our Art Day programming. Since the shutdown of travel for “nonessential” personnel in the state, all of our work is now completed from home.

Karyn Digitizing
Empty Inventory Room



Ordinary Life Moved Online

Today is Director of Development and Outreach, Geoff Starks, mom’s birthday. She lives in the nearby Greater Binghamton area, but a countywide lockdown and ban on out of county travel led to his having to celebrate with her over video chat. Work meetings, classrooms, personal conversations, even happy hours have all been hosted on various online video platforms, challenging us all to consider the value of proximity and face-to-face conversations in our ordinary lives.

Geoff Starks and Mom

These shifts have come swiftly, and in most cases unexpectedly. 



Now we issue this challenge to you! 


Rules for the Photo Challenge:

  1. Pick one image that documents your experience in this moment!
    • For example, an image of the empty grocery shelves, a deserted downtown, or an experience at home.


  2.  Tell us about it!
    • In 2-3 sentences, tell us about the image. What’s happening, and how is it different or unique compared to your everyday experiences. Alternatively, is there something in your life that hasn’t changed?


  3. Share with us!
    • Post your image and description  in the comments section of this blog or go on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, tag the Cayuga Museum and add these hashtags to your post: #musuemfromhome#museumathome#nysmuseums#SupportCayuga



Quality content like our “Museum in Exile” programming is only possible if we can sustain the staff who research and write our content.

Make a contribution to your community museum,
and help us keep you engaged with your history and art in this difficult time

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2 thoughts on “Museum at Home Interactive Blog: Photo Challenge

  1. My best friend, Jill and I started jogging/ walking together. COVID-19 hit as we were starting out so we had to adapt to the 6 feet apart, social distancing mandates. Just as an extra precaution to help keep each other healthy, we each take one side of the street. It is a great way to decompress, escape from all the media around the virus, and most importantly– catch up with my bestie. We are looking forward to jogging/ walking on the same side of the street once the pandemic is over.

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