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Museums and art schools donated supplies to hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

A museum conservator at work. Photo by Fabian Strauch/picture alliance via Getty Images.

A museum conservator at work. Photo by Fabian Strauch/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Museums and art schools in California and New York are donating supplies to hospitals facing shortages of protective equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Last week, Scott Rothkopf, senior deputy director and chief curator at the Whitney Museum, shared an Instagram post of a box of personal protective equipment ready to be donated to an unnamed hospital. The box included nitrile gloves, N95 masks, Tyvek suits, and shoe covers. These materials, ordinarily used by workers to carefully handle artworks, are essential for health care professionals working on the frontlines.

The Museum of Modern Art has donated nearly 3,000 nitrile gloves to various New York City hospitals, as well as 300 N95 masks. Art schools have also jumped in to contribute their resources to hospitals. Employees at the Cooper Union, the esteemed New York art, design, and architecture school, donated supplies including masks, gloves, disinfecting wipes, and protective goggles.

Laura Sparks, president at the Cooper Union, said in a statement to ARTnews: “We must come together to help keep our communities safe and healthy, and donating gloves and masks for those on the frontline is one step.”

Earlier this week on the West Coast, California Governor Gavin Newsom estimated that the state’s hospitals were short of about 17,000 beds, 1 billion gloves, and hundreds of millions of masks. Art institutions including the Getty Center and the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum responded to the call by donating boxes of supplies to area hospitals.