Art Museums on Pinterest

Pinterest can be an incredible social media tool for art museums. Creating a board is like curating an exhibit, and it can get people interested in the collection of a museum that they may have never visited before.

I’ve noticed that, for the most part, the Pinterest accounts of art museums can fall into one of two categories. Let’s give them the generic titles of “traditional” and “creative.”

Traditional

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 1.39.48 PM
The Indianapolis Museum of Art on Pinterest

The Indianapolis Museum of Art takes a more traditional route by creating boards based on artistic style or culture, with such simple categorization as “African Art” or “European Painting and Sculpture.” Using Pinterest like this can almost be a replacement for an online archive, and a more interactive one at that. Users can scroll through a museum’s collection as if they’re walking through an exhibit, re-pinning and liking along the way. But most museums already have an online archive — if people want to simply look through a museum’s collection, they’ll probably go to the website, not Pinterest. Pinterest should offer some exclusive, unique content, something other than what’s already available.

Creative

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 1.40.57 PMThe Metropolitan Museum of Art on Pinterest

The Met takes a different route by creating boards based on a theme, allowing for boards that aren’t limited by any one particular style or culture. They highlight and connect works based on themes such as various emotions, animals, seasons, or even body parts (I’m looking at you, “The Nose”). Pinterest accounts with quirkier, interesting, topic-based boards probably get more repins or likes than the more traditional ones. Using this style can really show off a museum’s personality and humanize them to a great public.

While the traditional route definitely has its merits, I have to say that I’m a bigger fan of the “creative” style. The museum I interned with over the summer used this style, and one of my first Pinterest assignments was to walk around the museum looking for any and all artworks that had a man with a mustache and create a board titled “From Our ‘Stache.”  Linking works from different cultures and eras through a fun or quirky topic is a cool way to keep your audience interested and engaged.

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5 thoughts on “Art Museums on Pinterest

  1. I am also a bigger fan of the “creative style”. As someone who absolutely loves exploring new museums, seeing artwork that I have learned about in my history class rooms and learning new things, I think Pinterest is a really exciting place for artwork. I would never have thought to check out the MoMa or any other art museum on social media. I have always thought of them as old fashioned, and classic – but I think it is brilliant that they have a social media presence. The traditional way seems boring, I think by giving people a behind the scenes look, extra content, or more information will make a pinterest page for art work more exciting and interesting. I love the show case of different themes on the Mets page. By focusing on different themes people can be exposed to more art that they may like!

    • Thanks for the comment! I think a lot of people tend to think of museums as more old-fashioned and not as likely to use social media (I actually used to be one of them). I really love that museums are now embracing social media not only to promote themselves as a business, but to increase the world’s exposure to art.

  2. Hi Kaitlyn! First off, I love your blog (especially the name of it); it’s so different and interesting. I’ve been to a few museums in my day, and I never really thought about how they reached out to their audience, or how they market. Pinterest is such an excellent and innovative tool for many companies, but especially for museums! I checked out some of the Pinterest boards you posted, and they’re great; I’m going to search for more! Not only am I learning more about art, but I also feel more inspired. Gotta love social media!

    • Thanks, Camille!
      I know I’m a bit biased, but I definitely think other companies can get inspired by how museums use social media — and vice versa! I love looking at how different industries use various platforms and how they incorporate different trends in order to really make something their own.

  3. Hi Kaitlyn!

    I think this is a really interesting topic. In regards to the first section (“traditional style”) I think it is worth nothing that some museums are using Pinterest as a sort of online archive. As we study social media, I am becoming very aware of the fact that someday social media may replace traditional websites and traditional aspects such as online archives. However, I think you are right when you say that the “Creative” type of boards are better. On this page, I am more likely to click around out of curiosity since I do not usually frequent Museum’s social media pages. I think that the second type of Pinterest account is much more likely to gain new followers and engage non-Museum lovers.

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