While nothing surpasses the experience of actually visiting a world-renowned art museum in person, sometimes it’s just not possible. Being the social media-obsessed generation that we are, naturally, we’re trained to do the next best thing — which is to turn to Instagram. Whether you’re wondering which exhibit a gallery is currently installing or want a behind-the-scenes look at what the curators are up to, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 18 #InstaMuseums that we think do an amazing job of sharing a glimpse into the latest in art, design and architecture.
1. @whitneymuseum: After showing one of the most talked about exhibits of the summer — an entire retrospective of the artwork of Jeff Koons — the Whitney needs no introduction. As the museum relocates to its new downtown location in Spring 2015, you’ll certainly want to be following along.
3. @mfahouston: Yup, you’re looking at one of the largest museums in the United States. Home to over 63,000 works of art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston is constantly sharing interesting tidbits about artwork from its permanent collection and spotlighting upcoming films and exhibitions.
4. @monamuseum: Described as a “subversive adult Disneyland,” the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has us intrigued. Until we can make the trip to Hobart, Australia, their out-of-this-world (and slightly eclectic) Insta feed will just have to do.
5. @guggenheim: Not only is the Guggenheim a NYC architectural landmark, but it also houses one of the most prestigious collections of art, ranging from impressionism through contemporary. Follow along as the museum gears up for its upcoming exhibition, ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s.
6. @lacma: Being the largest art museum on the west coast, it’s almost guaranteed that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will never run out of exciting new things to post. For a chance to be featured, make sure to tag photos from your most recent visit with #LACMAplusYou.
7. @gagosiangallery: If you consider yourself a fan of modern and contemporary art, then Gagosian Gallery’s Instagram is worth a follow. With 11 gallery spaces — located everywhere from New York and Beverly Hills to Hong Kong and London — rest assured that there will never be a dull moment (or Insta post) as far as this feed is concerned.
8. @highmuseumofart: A quick scroll through the High Museum of Art’s Instagram feed and we were sold. The museum’s clean, minimalist aesthetic combined with outstanding snapshots of the museum’s award-winning modern architecture (notably designed by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano) should not be missed.
10. @belvederemuseum: Besides the fact that the Belvedere is home to the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings (!!!), the Upper and Lower Belvedere just so happen to also be housed in the most stunning baroque palaces. Based on this feed, it’s safe to say that Vienna waits for you…
11. @mocalosangeles: Say hello to the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA) — aka the only museum in LA devoted exclusively to contemporary art produced since 1940. Through a series of photos and videos, MOCA maintains a cutting-edge Instagram feed.
12. @barbicancentre: The Barbican Centre in London is devoted to performance, film, music and visual arts of all kind. Serving as Europe’s largest multi-arts center, you can bet that their Instagram is just as groundbreaking.
13. @sfmoma: While the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art may be under construction (#FutureSFMOMA), that’s not stopping the museum from sharing their ongoing exhibitions at venues around the Bay Area. Trust us when we say that SFMOMA is one of the more fun feeds to follow. Check them out and take part in one of their games (#PlayArtfully).
14. @smithsonian: The Smithsonian Institution maintains an Instagram feed that is not only educational, but also family friendly. Devoted to 19 museums (and a zoo!), the Smithsonian always has a new and noteworthy exhibit to post about.
15. @brooklynmuseum: So, you’ve been to the Met, MoMA and Guggenheim, but what about the Brooklyn Museum? Second largest in physical size in NYC, the Brooklyn Museum houses a particularly comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities and American art. No surprise they have a thriving and diverse Instagram feed to match.
16. @mcachicago: Just as their bio reads, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s intent is to serve as a center “where the public can directly experience the work of living artists.” This rings true for MCA Chicago’s lively and compelling Instagram feed as well, which notably documents all of the museum’s current happenings through photos and even Hyperlapse videos.
17. @thegetty: With stunning photos and a regularly updated innovative feed, The Getty just may be one of our favorite #InstaMuseums to follow. Through photographs of the architecture, gardens and views as seen from the Getty Villa, the Getty gets an A+ for its aesthetically pleasing feed.
18. @ngadc: Located in our nation’s capital, the National Gallery of Art houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and artwork from the Middle Ages to present. When NGA isn’t hosting an InstaMeet, they’re actively sharing photos from their outdoor sculpture garden, the gallery in the West Building or interesting perspectives as documented in the East Building designed by I.M. Pei.
What are your favorite art museums to follow on Instagram?