“Girl in a Black Hat With Red Flowers,” by Pierre Renoir, 1890 | Marion Rowe
The Getty Museum Challenge has taken the world by storm. During COVID-19 quarantine, when cultural institutions were (and many still are) closed, the at-home art project has inspired people to recreate iconic paintings with things they have on hand. This boredom-busting activity appeals to kids and adults alike—including the residents at the Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. They have accepted the Getty Museum Challenge and rocked it by dressing up as paintings by Paul Gauguin, Pierre Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and more.
Karen Schaefer is the recreation manager at Amenida and had the idea to try the project after seeing how anxiety-inducing the pandemic has been for the seniors at her complex. Being in a high-risk group, they need to isolate and have not allowed visitors since March.
Schaefer began the Getty Museum Challenge by printing a half dozen portraits and giving them to the community. The residents then went on the hunt to find props, which included everything from a lampshade to faux flowers to copy paper improvised as part of a dress. While it’s not the same as being out in the world, the activity is helping to keep their spirits up.
“What's really touched my heart is that they're asking, ‘Am I going to be on Facebook? Will you email [the photos] to my daughter or my friend?'” Schaefer explains. “Or they'll say, ‘I've got to call my sister, my daughter, my brother to let them know.'”
Senior citizens at the Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada have taken on the popular Getty Museum Challenge.
“Portrait of Luise Halbe in a Straw Hat,” by Lovis Corinth, 1898 | Eunice Salt
“Child in Straw Hat,” by Mary Cassatt, 1886 | Trudy Castagner
“Lady at the Tea Table,” Mary Cassatt, 1883 | Dorothy Weijer
The residents recreated famous portraits using materials they had on hand.
Unknown Impressionist artist, circa 1880s | Kathie Stanley
“Woman With a Mango” by Paul Gauguin, 1892 | Florence Grewal
“Portrait with a Sunflower,” Anthony van Dyke, 1632 | Jim Cullina
Portrait of a woman from the Joseon dynasty 1392–1910, unidentified artist, ca. 1920 – 40 | Young Ok Yang
“Monk With Wine,” artist unknown, circa 1900 | Jim Smith
“Kim Eun-ho,” Miindo, 1935, ink and color on silk | Chong Soon Jung
“Portrait of a Girl With White Dog,” by John Russell, 1790 | Brenda Hawkes and her dog, Ellie
Unidentified artist | Jung Ja Lee
“Self-Portrait” by Sesshū Tōyō, 1495 | Tadashi Horii
“Portrait of a Young Woman” by Isaac Israels, 1920 | Dorothy Hannah
“Young Girl in a Straw Hat” by Pierre Renoir, 1884 | Margaret Beaver
“Queen Marie of Romania” by Philip de Laszlo, 1924 | Ursula Fraatz