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EdSocial Installment #4: Too Cold For a Field Trip? Take an Instagram Trip!
Monday, January 27, 2014

Since its launch in the fall of 2010, Instagram (often referred to as “IG”) has become one of the most popular social networks for photo and video sharing. And like some of the other great social media sites, such as Facebook (which acquired Instagram in 2012), Pinterest, and Twitter, it has quickly become a convenient hub for curating and sharing educational content. Museums have found it to be an especially simple and effective way to broadcast artwork and other exhibits, and some have even created interactive tours for Instagrammers.

After perusing about a dozen of the most active museum sites on IG, we got to thinking: why not take a virtual field trip? No matter where you live--or how cold it is outside--you can visit some of these awe-inspiring museums from the comforts of your own home...and even on your smartphone! So here you go: an Instagram field trip to 5 cool museums around the world:

Stop #1: The Louvre (@museelouvre: 33,721 followers; 74 posts). Pour yourself a little cafe, grab a croissant, and go to http://instagram.com/museelouvre. There you’ll find beautiful snapshots of some of the classic museum’s most famous paintings and sculptures. First, check out one of the most recent additions to their IG collection, the Portrait de Madame Soustra, by Marie-Denise Villers. While examining the lovely Madame, open a new tab or window to learn more about the artist, whose two sisters were also highly-talented painters. Then, before you go, be sure to scroll down for a peek at a few shots of the snow-covered exterior of the Louvre--iconic Pyramid and all.

Stop #2: Tate Gallery (@tategallery: 29,840 followers; 192 posts). Skip across the English Channel (virtually, that is) to http://instagram.com/tategallery, where you’ll find photos from this famous UK museum’s collections at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St. Ive’s--all in one spot! Get started by taking a look at one of the most recent additions, a stylized snapshot of Jemima Kirke (from the HBO series, Girls), seated at an easel. Then open a new tab or window to see Kirke in action as she narrates the latest release in Tate’s Unlock Art video collection, a five minute mini-doc about women in art (or the lack there of) entitled “Where are the Women?” Back on Tate’s IG page, scroll around for behind-the-scenes peeks at installations, and be sure to check out the mysterious video of the Mira Schendel exhibit posted on October 7, 2013.

Stop #3: Museo Frida Kahlo (@@museofridakahlo: 7,664 followers; 99 posts). Speaking of women in art, why not visit the IG page of a museum devoted to one at http://instagram.com/museofridakahlo? There you’ll find an array of bright, striking photos of artwork and other artifacts housed in the cobalt-blue Mexico City home where Kahlo grew up. Take a look, for a good example, at the snapshot of a floral-painted bowl in Kahlo’s kitchen posted on January 10, 2014 (Spanish caption: “Frida amaba las artesanías mexicanas y podemos verlo en cada rincón de su cocina.”) Or check out the popular photo (it already has over 504 likes) of the studio workspace of her famous husband, Diego Rivera, posted on January 14, 2014 (Spanish caption: “¡Desde el estudio de Diego Rivera les deseamos bonita semana!”). While touring the museum’s IG site, give your Spanish skills a try by checking out the museum’s home page: museofridakahlo.org.

Stop #4: Museo Malba (@@museomalba: 31,968 followers; 250 posts). Continue your journey south to http://instagram.com/museomalba, where you’ll enjoy a broad range of photos and videos featuring this Buenos Aires museum’s collection of thought-provoking Latin American art. Before “entering the museum,” get your bearings straight by checking out Malba’s coordinates on Google Maps (you might even see Uruguay across the Rio de La Plata!). Then “head on in” and view some of the more recent posts, such as a cool pic of two young girls immersed in Rogelio Polesello’s 14 Ovals, posted on January 4, 2014. And don’t miss the October 2013 post of Calavera 12, a giant skull-shaped pastiche of all sorts of stuff (see if you can find all the little Superman figures in the jawbone).

Stop #5: The Brooklyn Museum (@brooklynmuseum: 57,190 followers; 265 posts). No sleep ‘til Brooklyn...or at least one of its best museums. Check in at http://instagram.com/brooklynmuseum, then enjoy the collection of photos featuring artists, handlers, curators, and even museum-goers in action for a unique, all-access feel. Recent highlights include a vibrant photo of milliner-haberdasher Heidi Ji’euen-Jouet shopping for ribbons in Manhattan’s Garment District (posted on January 13, 2014) and a cute pic of curator Sharon Matkins watching her young son put his touches on a mural at a December 2013 holiday party. Before you leave, search for Matkins’ October 2013 photo post of famous artist Ai Wei Wei donning the gift she gave him on her visit to China--a Brooklyn Nets hat!

These are just a few of the cool museum sites you’ll find on Instagram; if you’re looking to extend your field trip to other New York City museums, try the MoMa (@themuseumofmodernart), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum), or the American Museum of Natural History (@amnh).

Bon voyage!