With their public spaces closed, museums have been taking to social media to share their collections – here’s what we liked this week on Twitter
There are some excellent museum and heritage Twitter accounts that we love here at Museum Crush; the world famous MERL, BL Medieval Manuscripts and Orkney Library to name but a few, but with museums across the UK closed more of them are innovating and having fun on the social media platform.
Staff who haven’t found themselves furloughed for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis have been exploring all kinds of ways of connecting people with their collections online – and Twitter still seems to be a popular place to do it.
Who would have thought museum jigsaws would be a draw? But for some people who are genuinely stuck at home with little to do, they are are apparently manna from heaven.
🧩 #MuseumJigsaws 🧩
Here’s your puzzle for today: ‘Watter Joe’ by Abel Hold
Simply follow this link: ➡ https://t.co/Lr15X8PDIo ⬅️
— The Cooper Gallery (@CooperBarnsley) April 1, 2020
A group of Museums in Yorkshire have been having fun with the #MuseumFromHome and #MuseumAlphabet hashtags. Things took a strange turn last Thursday when Barnsley Museum’s eyeless doll got everyone sharing their #CreepyCollections.
— Leeds Museums & Galleries (@LeedsMuseums) March 26, 2020
Fun with portraits
Meanwhile in the Midlands, the National Trust has been having fun with portraits. OK, we know the Louvre and the Getty may have copied their idea and others are at it too, but check out this innovative use of toilet paper. (We are assuming no toilet paper was wasted in the set up of this portrait recreation).
Another of our #tussenkunstenquarantaine pictures sees Helena from @CanonsAshbyNT recreate Sir Thomas Cornwallis – which you can see in the online collection here https://t.co/YiRIOmZR5f#MuseumFromHome pic.twitter.com/GBUTQTlG4Q
— NTMidlands (@NTmidlands) March 27, 2020
Museum of Me
Here’s a nice one for museum types stuck at home – you can now curate your own stuff and share it with other curatorially-minded people via Twitter. Why the hell not, eh?
With so many people working from home I thought we could all use this time to reflect on how heritage is important to us.
The challenge is to share a response to each daily prompt over the week and curate your own #museumofme – starting Monday (30th)!
More info below: pic.twitter.com/Z3XwLdsV0I
— Gracie Price (@magnifyzoology) March 28, 2020
Lockdown lantern slides
Collections Manager Jim Middleton from Scarborough Museums Trust has been posting regular images from the Trust’s collection of slides and glass plate negatives on Twitter, using the hashtag #lockdownlanternslides and, he says, the response has been remarkable with comments and queries from other museums, historians and the public nationwide.
— SMT Collections Team (@SMT_Collections) March 26, 2020
Local Museums Unite
Local museums getting together on Twitter has been great boon to some museums who are now not only struggling to make ends meet but are also struggling to connect with their audiences, but tapping into local networks by using the hashtag #LocalMuseumsUnite is proving to be an innovative approach to sharing collections.
The first theme for #LocalMuseumsUnite is the #SmallestAnimal in our collection and we’re starting with these very tiny Roman horse brooches from our archaeology collection. The largest one is 3cm across. #museumathome pic.twitter.com/D0UbRVhjqe
— St Albans Museums (@stalbansmuseums) April 1, 2020
So you thought Hockney blazed a trail for digital drawing and painting? Check out Perth and Kinross Museum’s #dougiedraws – a new artistic talent who can reinterpret any collection object pitched at him – from ancient log boats to this…
Presenting Danu, Mother of the Gods by JD Fergusson. Recreated in Paint for #DougieDraws
Fergusson based this painting on Margaret Morris, wearing a costume she had designed.
— Culture Perth & Kinross Museums (@CPKMuseums) March 26, 2020
The Ashmolean has long been a trailblazer for using its collection in innovative ways online and they are worth a follow even in calmer times, but their #IsolationCreations is proving a big hit with museum lovers at home.
Today’s #IsolationCreations inspiration is the dramatic scene unfolding on a 16th-century Spanish earthenware tile. We’re not sure what happened here, but it doesn’t look good for the snake. Let’s see your creations! pic.twitter.com/KuTydXg5Wp
— Ashmolean Museum (@AshmoleanMuseum) March 29, 2020
You can take the curator out of the museum…
Meanwhile Dr Alice Blackwell, Curator of Medieval Archaeology & History at National Museums Scotland, conflated one of the great concerns of the day, disposable roll paper, with the day job.
I’m not saying I’ve got museum withdrawal but I just spotted the #earlymedieval Talnotrie pin design in pointille on my kitchen roll 😂 #MuseumFromHome Anyone raise me @amaldon @PostExGem @mgknight24? pic.twitter.com/Jg5AJPlaP6
— Dr Alice Blackwell (@earlymedieval) March 31, 2020
Hashtag the Cowboy
And finally, a mention has to go to the museum world’s latest internet star, Tim, the lone security guard of the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, USA. He’s been patrolling the museum alone and using Twitter to show off their collection. Told to use hashtags (by his grandson) he started writing “hashtag”. People love him and the museum’s Twitter account has grown by the thousands. Here he is effortlessly doing that museum coffee morning thing with a diorama. This Museum Twitter thing? Easy.
Morning! This may be my first rodeo in the social media but I’ve been going to rodeos since I was a kid. My first rodeo was probably when the National Finals Rodeo was still in Oklahoma. My latest rodeo was just now in our American Rodeo Gallery. #HashtagTheCowboy Thanks, Tim pic.twitter.com/2mFlefs0UJ
— Nat’l Cowboy Museum (@ncwhm) April 2, 2020