When it comes to making something accessible, it is no surprise that social media can make a world of difference. Instagram is proving to be a fantastic way for museums and galleries to connect with people all over the world. Not only is it a great way to see some beautiful art, you can also see snapshots of exhibitions you’re physically unable to attend, and get a glimpse into the inner workings of some of the most grand heritage institutions in the world. Museums and galleries all around the world are jumping on the social media bandwagon, and we’re all better for it. Here are just a few accounts that I follow (and you probably should too):
Keep up with New Zealand’s national museum by following Te Papa’s account. Te Papa has a good mix of what’s going on in exhibitions and events, but also features snaps of storage and conservation work. Their images are usually relevant to what’s happening in Te Papa and around New Zealand.
This account always has a good mix of front and back of house, and is a great way to keep up with the going-ons at Auckland Museum. Like Te Papa, Auckland Museum’s Instagram photos are a strong mix of front and back of house.
Museum of Old and New Art
If you want to add a little drama to your feed, you can’t go wrong following Mona. It’s a great account to follow if you want some contemporary art in your life, but be warned – it may have you planning a trip to Tasmania.
This account covers all the Tate galleries in the UK: Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives, which results in a huge variation to the images they post. Follow it for Turbine Hall updates and excellent regrams of people’s sketchbooks.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A’s account always features a huge variation of objects – tea pots, furniture, fabrics, jewellery, and art, among others things. Most importantly, their current big exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, means that their account often features amazing shoes.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art from all over the world, the images on this account are always beautiful. Also good at informing you of artist’s birthdays – impress your friends with your ability to remember when Vermeer was born.
This is an account with a wonderful mix of old and new art from all over the world. Photos showing the interaction between their audience and the art are not only beautiful to look at, but add another element of interest to this art museum’s Instagram.
American Museum of Natural History
As a fan of scientific illustrations, this is a great account to follow. Their behind the scenes images are always great, especially when storage areas are on show. Also good if you like dinosaurs (and let’s face it, who doesn’t).
A completely stunning Swedish castle stroke museum, their Instagram definitely deserves more followers. Mostly filled with photos of the grounds, it also provides glimpses of restoration work being done to the castle and will occasionally feature pretty Swedish men in costumes. If it’s access you’re into, they have also released their digital image archive to the public using Creative Commons licenses.
A special mention goes to the Rijksmuseum since they were my first introduction to art being made accessible online. This is a really well managed account featuring a lot of Dutch and European art. The Rijksmuseum made a huge chunk of their collection available to download early on in the game and then actively encouraged the public to do whatever they wanted with the images.