Museums are places where you expect to find the best art and artifacts in the most aesthetically designed and beautifully illuminated rooms – and therefore some of the best photo opportunities.
24/7 Tempo has ranked America’s most Instagrammed museums, based on the number of posts per each one’s hashtag from independent artist promoter Singulart. Our list is dominated, as might be expected, by New York’s cultural institutions, which are among the oldest and largest in the country. (Surprisingly, though, as a function of its huge population, it doesn’t make our list, based on cultural institutions per capita, of America’s culture capitals.)
Would-be Instagrammers (and just plain amateur photographers) should note that most museums forbid photography of any kind in certain galleries – always noted as such – and that the use of flash, selfie sticks, and video cameras (including those on smartphones) is generally prohibited.
Those restrictions notwithstanding, the most Instagrammed museum is New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a tally of 395,500 posts. The Met boasts a collection of more than two million objects spanning 5,000 years of history, ranging from the Temple of Dendur brought to the city from Egypt to paintings by Vincent van Gogh to multi-media works from the early 21st century. With its classical façade the Met building itself is also highly Instagrammable.
The No. 2 spot goes to the Whitney Museum of American Art, with 323,000 posts. The Whitney was founded in 1930 by socialite Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and focuses on modern and contemporary American art. In 2015 the museum moved from Manhattan’s Upper East Side downtown to Gansevoort Street, at the southern entrance of the High Line park. In addition to the museum itself, the building’s rooftop café, terraces, and glass walls offer beautiful, Instagrammable views of the Hudson River and Greenwich Village.
At No. 3 is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), with 287,000 posts. It was opened in 1929 – the brainchild of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and her friends. It was the first major New York institution to exhibit works by European modernists. MoMA is followed by two other East Coast art powerhouses: the Brooklyn Museum at No. 4 and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. at No. 5. (These are the must-visit museums in every state.)
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