Instagram in the Art Gallery

“Every artwork is an Instagrammer’s dream come true.”  Now you can have your picture taken with you favorite work of art.  Well, at least at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.  Please have a look at #renwickgallery on your Instagram account.  Sorry, selfies are discouraged since the museum curator has declared them to be “kind of obnoxious.”  He wants you to be immersed in the work rather promoting this exhibit as a personal photo op.  

Renwick is now encouraging photography and believes that this policy is here to stay with possibly a few exceptions.  There are still museumgoers who like to see art the old-fashioned way, wanting to absorb the experience itself in real time rather than living through the camera.  They are concerned that the photographers are just cataloging the experience like “checking a box.”

So now you can choose whatever kind of museum experience you would like.  The only anecdotal data available to date suggests that when you take more detailed photos of the artwork, you actually remember more about it than if you take a more expansive zoomed-out shot.  Or you can still just look at the art and put your phone away?

Ray Myers



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