MuseumSelfie takes Twitter by storm as galleries create global self-portraiture

By Culture24 Reporter | 22 January 2014

A hugely popular campaign, MuseumSelfie, adds a curatorial charm to the global trend for self-portraiture

A photo of a woman taking a photo while laying on grass beneath an outdoor sculpture
Melanie Vandenbrouck, the Curator of Art at the National Maritime Museum, gets a different perspective on Yinka Shonibare's sculpture in Greenwich. Vandenbrouck was one of nearly 4,000 early contributors to the MuseumSelfie day© twitter.com/m_vandenbrouck
Are museums and galleries the keepers of exhibits too sacrosanct for a casual snapshot, or do spur-of-the-moment photos capture the joy of a cultured day out?

Whatever your view, Mar Dixon, a social media specialist who plays a key role in well-known campaigns including Kids in Museums and the annual Ask a Curator day, has devised an entertaining idea around which the debate will ensue.

“I’m a Cultural Snatcher – I can’t help it,” she confesses, discussing the Museumselfie hashtag running today on Twitter.

“I take after my mum, who is never without a camera. When I visit and explore a museum, I love sharing what I’m seeing.

“While I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, I can see why people like a good old selfie.”

Her point has been emphatically proved by the response from visitors so far, posing alongside a mammoth at National Museum Cardiff, the Horniman’s irrepressible walrus and, within University College London’s impressive Octagon, three-dimensional versions of their own head.

The hashtag is already trending, with museums from Europe, South Africa and America involved. By midday, more than 700 photos had been offered through almost 7,000 tweets.


What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A photo of a man in a suit standing next to a portrait painting of a farming couple
An uncanny likeness at the Art Institute of Chicago© twitter.com/artinstitutechi
A photo of two women standing in a lift taking photos of themselves on smartphones
Russia's State Museum of the History of Religion gave the campaign a lift© twitter.com/Museum_Religion
A photo of a woman standing next to a stuffed animal in a museum smiling
Juno Rae, a Digital Learning Programme Co-ordinator at the Museum of London, posed with the Lord Mayor's Coach horse. 'It's great to see what objects everyone wants to show off', she said© twitter.com/junorae
A photo of a man standing in front of stuffed birds inside a museum wearing earphones
Adrian from the Horniman Museum, where the inspiration for the campaign originated from© twitter.com/acediscovery
A photo of a woman holding up an ancient gold coin while wearing a white glove
Anna Griffiths, of Oxfordshire Museums Service, was about to take this gold bracteate on an outreach session© twitter.com/annagriff1
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