Want an insider look at what the staff of some of New York’s most popular museums check out when they head to another of the city’s cultural institutions? On Tuesday, 18 museums partnered up and took to Instagram to show off the other’s collection and reveal a little extra insight into their own.
The images from the event were posted with the hashtag #MuseumInstaSwap.
For example, staff at the Guggenheim art museum went to the Liberty Science Centre and vice versa, while folks from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) went to the American Museum of Natural History. Other museums that were included were: the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Museum of the City of New York; the New Museum; the Museum of Arts and Design; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Frick Collection; New York Historical Society; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts; Neue Galerie; Queens Museum; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Jewish Museum.
The partnerships elicited some interesting observations about the collections – such as the American Museum of Natural History’s comparison of Mark Rothko paintings to Winogradsky columns, which are “visual representations of the way in which communities of microbes stratify in our digestive system, based on habitat preference.” Wired reports that the pairing were actually made by each museum ranking the others on preference of partnership, and the final decision was make with an algorithm.
According to a New York Times’ art blog from August, staff at London museums came up with the idea after a local news site ran an article about the best local museums on Instagram. They organized an Instagram swap at London museums like the Science and Design Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the London Transport Museum.
See more images here.