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Museums closed due to coronavirus crisis send each other virtual flowers to spread joy on social media

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Museums have started sending images of paintings, photographs and other artwork depicting flowers to fellow institutions on Twitter to brighten one another's days amid the coronavirus pandemic. The global outbreak has left many museums and galleries around the world closed.

"Dear @americanart, we wanted to brighten your day with these apple blossoms by American painter Martin Johnson Heade," tweeted the New-York Historical Society to the account of The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. "We hope this #MuseumBouquet makes you smile today!"

The institutions are sending the virtual blossoms with the hashtag #MuseumBouquet, along with messages of kindness, thanks and even poems. The trend appears to have kicked off recently, with all of the top tweets being sent Tuesday.

"Roses are red / Violets are blue / We want to share Duke Ellington's flowers with you," tweeted The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., to its fellow Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, as well as others, also shared the link to the artworks, allowing users to learn more about the pieces at each respective institution.

"Sending well wishes by way of a puppy-shaped #MuseumBouquet to our 5th Avenue neighbors," tweeted The Guggenheim Museum in New York City to multiple museums along the city's famous "Museum Mile." "We can't wait to visit you all again soon!" The institution sent an image of a statue by Jeff Koons titled "Puppy," made out of flowering plants.

The Vancouver ArtGallery in Canada also shared its artwork with multiple local institutions, along with a positive message. "We hope this #stilllife by #AmbrosiusBosschaert reminds you of the beauty that still exists in the everyday!" wrote the museum. 

Most museums who were sent the virtual blossoms also sent some of their own to to other art spaces, keeping the chain going and incorporating more museums into the trend.

It's not just museums and galleries that are loving the bursts of color on their news feeds — many Twitter users posted their appreciation for a respite from coronavirus developments.

"#MuseumBouquet is sparking such joy and brighteness," wrote user @ShamonPR. "Brilliant idea to bring some beauty into the lives of those Self Isolating during these difficult times," tweeted @Watt_Ever_008.

Myriad closed public spaces are attempting to give people a virtual look inside from the safety of their own homes. Many zoos and aquariums are offering live-streams of their animals for viewers to enjoy. Some fitness studios and gyms are live-streaming workout classes. Celebrities are even offering free concerts, dance parties and sing-alongs to fans.

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