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One of the most alluring aspects of travel is immersing yourself in another culture and learning to look at the world in a new light. And what better way to open your mind to new ideas than by visiting museums? Holding paintings, sculptures, relics and other artifacts spanning from antiquity to the present and housing works as diverse as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to the street artwork of unknown graffiti artists, museums are a doorway that can take you almost anywhere. Here are nine museums you should follow on Instagram — and maybe include as part of your next trip.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is located between the city’s South Beach area and the Financial District. The museum is home to a wide array of modern art and its Instagram page includes photos of bright and colorful installations (some in progress), behind-the-scene glimpses at exhibits and announcements for upcoming shows. Planning a trip to the Bay Area? Check out these insider tips.
The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world and its glass pyramid is as iconic as its famed collection. It’s located on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris and is the world’s largest art museum, housing works like the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace and Vermeer’s Lacemaker. The museum’s Instagram feed features photos of its impressive collection as well as stunning shots of the building’s famed exterior.
The Brooklyn Museum’s IG mixes photos of its collection with the poignant histories behind them. The museum, located in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, is situated on five acres of land and is New York City’s third-largest museum. Instagram is a great place for history buffs and those who like their art served with a drink or two — follow this account to be notified of the museum’s #ArtHistoryHappyHours, which feature art education, exhibit discussions and a free drink.
When you follow this Instagram account, you’re actually getting 19 for the price of one, plus a National Zoo. The Smithsonian’s feed features images from all 19 Smithsonian museums (and research complexes) and includes a wide variety of photos ranging from the late pop star Selena’s motorcycle jacket and sequin bustier to porcupine fish found in Panama.
The Tate is comprised of four separate art galleries located in London, Liverpool and Cornwall and this account serves as a jumping off point for all of them — Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives. Each museum features massive collections with varied themes, and the IG feed shows off snippets of each one’s notable collections and traveling exhibitions.
The New Museum, located in New York’s Lower East Side, is a contemporary art museum that espouses acceptance of all views, genders and races, and looks to promote the conversation surrounding current issues. Check its Instagram for interesting and thought-provoking art pieces, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at artists’ workshops and shots of New York City.
If you happen to make your way to Tasmania, Australia, absolutely stop by this entrancing museum. Its irreverent attitude toward art and the outside world is all part of museum founder David Walsh’s plan to question the basic nature of the human condition by using provocative pieces that are meant to sharply deviate from the typical contemporary museum experience. At once fascinating and offensive, this museum is one that will surely intrigue. Check MONA’s Instagram for a sneak peek at its collection as well as updates on festivals, guest curators and other exhibitions.
The Belvedere Museum, housed in Belvedere Palace, a historic building in Vienna built for Prince Eugene of Savoy, is as satisfying inside as it is outside. The grounds consist of two palaces — the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere — an orangery and the old palace stables. After viewing the spectacular Baroque architecture, wander inside to view the largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings held by a museum. Check out this Instagram to view the wonder of this museum.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art — better known as LACMA — is the largest museum in the western US, boasting more than 130,000 works of art. The mid-city museum was created in 1965 with a mission to collect art that reaches across time and space, encompassing works from antiquity to the present from all parts of the globe. While the museum prides itself on its diverse collection, it also works to represent the many subcultures that exist in Los Angeles.
What are some of your favorite museums to follow on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image of the Belvedere by Sborisov/Getty Images.
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