MoMA by the Forward

Daily distraction: Take an art course from MoMA

Welcome to your daily distraction, our recommendations for ways to stay engaged and entertained while we socially distance ourselves to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can find our past recommendations here; many of the opportunities we’ve highlighted are ongoing.

It’s the start of a new week. Many of us have now been practicing social distancing for a full month, and while that routine is increasingly familiar, it’s also increasingly disorienting. It’s relatively easy to work at creating a sort of faux-normalcy at the start of a new way of life. But in the middle of that new reality, as it becomes more difficult to envision ever regaining real normalcy, those efforts can seem fairly futile.

That means it’s more important than ever to find things in the outside world to hold on to, even though we can’t go outside. Here’s one way to get more involved today.

Take a free art class through MoMA

After a long renovation, the Museum of Modern Art finally reopened in October 2019. But if you didn’t get to see the re-envisioned museum before this new, unexpected closing, don’t despair! In addition to hosting several online exhibits through Google Arts & Culture, MoMA has made its library of online art courses through Coursera free for the time being.

While all of them look interesting, right now I especially like the look of “Seeing Through Photographs,” an in-depth education on how to understand pictures that appear at first glance to be fairly straightforward. At this moment when the ordinary stuff of human life is largely inaccessible, coming to better understand the most common medium by which we chronicle that stuff is an appealing investment. But if you’re interested in something broader in scope, “Modern Art & Ideas,” an overview of the basic tenets and movements behind modern art, promises to be invigorating and eye-opening. Take it, and know that when you can finally go visit MoMA again, the experience will be especially meaningful.


Talya Zax

Talya Zax

Talya Zax is the Forward’s innovation editor. Contact her at or on Twitter, @TalyaZax.

Isolation entertainment: MoMA art lessons

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Daily distraction: Take an art course from MoMA

Thank you!

This article has been sent!