Take a Virtual Visit to the Sachs Museum

Grafting the Grape: American Grapevine Rootstock in Missouri and the World is currently installed in the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum, which is open for visitors Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30am-3:30pm; all visitors over age 5 must wear masks indoors and on the grounds of the Garden. Please check the Museum site here for updates and future online events.

The Grafting the Grape exhibition explores the various American grape species that are most used in viticulture, grafting, and winemaking, and how they were and continue to be used by the Native peoples of Missouri. Today, these American grapevine rootstock species continue to provide research challenges as scientists study and understand how the rootstock plants affect the scion plant’s berries and chemical compounds (which affect the final wine product) as well as how climate change is impacting the future of viticulture around the world.

Visiting the Garden and Sachs Museum virtually

Virtual visits of museums and gardens have been a key interest since the early days of the internet, as we don’t all have the means to visit these places regularly, especially if they are not in our local neighborhood. Since March 2020, we have all felt the lack of these in person visits keenly, and digital technologies, as well as the internet, have made it possible for us to see and experience places we’ve enjoyed in the past, or never have visited in person before.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Melinda J. McDaniel Charitable Trust, UW, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, the Missouri Botanical Garden now has the ability to digitally capture its spaces in 360-degrees to create online virtual tours for everyone with access to the internet. The Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum is the first beneficiary of this technology at the Garden. For many months at the start of the pandemic the Sachs Museum was closed to the public. Although now reopen, not everyone has been able to travel to the Garden to see the Museum, and the latest exhibition, Grafting the Grape, in person.

The Sachs Museum offers a great opportunity for this new virtual tour. The building itself, combined with the special exhibition, offer a great deal of information to the virtual visitor. You can move through the entire museum, and enjoy a visit to the beautiful space, zoom in on the impressive botanical ceiling mural, or read some of the exhibition labels, and check out some of the many objects and specimens on view in the exhibition. The tour also allows virtual visitors to explore the Spink Boehm Bird Collection, housed in an area of the Sachs Museum off-limits to even in-person visitors.

The beauty of a virtual tour like this one is that the additional online resources, such an interactive map of the plants depicted in the mural. Video content created by the contemporary artists in Grafting the Grape is also viewable by the virtual visitor.

The Garden’s digital media team have been working on this virtual visitation effort. Using the grant from the McDaniel Trust, Sr. Digital Media Specialist Cassidy Moody was able to purchase the equipment and online platform for hosting this virtual look in at the Sachs Museum. He used a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera to capture three dozen 360-degree images of the galleries. Those images were then overlaid with dozens of interactive icons, photographs, digital scans, and videos to build the complete tour.

We at the Garden look forward to sharing more of our spaces in this virtual format in the months to come, and we hope you enjoy visiting the Sachs Museum virtually until you can come on site again!

Nezka Pfeifer
Museum Curator, Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum

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