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The museums offering remedies for Zoom gloom

7 May 2020

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Rakewell has been suffering from Zoom gloom. Every morning, another Skype gripe. And at night? Teams dreams.

It has come as some succour to your correspondent, then, to be able to teleport himself to places he would rather be during the scores of videocalls that sponge up his days. As a sucker for Le Goût Rothschild, he is tickled to have Waddesdon Manor to himself courtesy of the virtual backgrounds that the house has released online, and has been vaping away furiously during meetings from the comfort of Baron Ferdinand’s Smoking Room. ‘Waddesdon was made for meetings,’ says its website. Not these ones, thank god.

The Smoking Room at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks

Bored of Buckinghamshire, Rakewell has also met in the Met, as it were – and in the grand neoclassical surroundings of the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court, no less. (Does Rakewell have to credit the donors in meetings, he wonders.)

The Leon Levy and Shelby White Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

And what delight in taking management calls in the Damascus Room, amid the boiseries from the Hôtel de Varengeville, or in the dining room of Lansdowne House. Rooms once boxed up and shipped across the Atlantic can now instead box you in on your interminable Zoom conferences!

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.