Instagram museums provide trendy settings for photos


Credit: Hadley Chapman

The Dream Machine is a museum in New York City that many teenagers visit for its cool backgrounds and set-ups to take photos for their social media profiles. It features washing machines and dryers.

Recently, pictures of colorful places and outrageous art fill most people’s Instagram timelines. Temporary pop-up museums like The Museum of Illusions, Candytopia, and Dream Machine are set up in various highly populated cities at locations that are often discovered through social media.

The sprinkle pool at The Museum of Ice Cream amazes visitors because of how unique it is. The sudden outburst of these “Instagram Museums” tend to focus on the appeal of taking pictures with art and have attracted thousands of young onlookers to go simply for the purpose of taking pictures for social media.

Instagram Museums have different pieces of art for visitors to take pictures with, but with hundreds of visitors, it is difficult to get enough time to both take a picture and appreciate the art.

I was expecting it to be a lot of fun because it was sold out and booked for a lot of days,” said Senior Saisha Malhotra, “But you go in there, they are giving you like -5 seconds in each room, there are way too many people going through.”

Though the art is perfect for making one’s Instagram feed interesting, there is a concern for the need of these museums. Many people even question if they should be considered museums at all. Instagram Museums seem to be taking much of the attention away from renowned museums.

Although young adults are attracted to these trendy museums rather than renowned art museums, there are negative aspects of this appeal. Many young people just don’t find museums interesting. “I was just indifferent. It was nice, but there was nothing that really stuck out to me. I just think I could’ve seen it anywhere else; I could’ve opened up our history textbook and seen it there,” recalled Emily Afriyie about her experience at The Metropolitan Museum of “Art Heavenly Bodies” exhibit.

Permanent art and history museums seem to represent a piece of the past when compared to the futuristic and colorful appeal of the trendier museums popular on Instagram.

Not only do the crowds in Instagram museums hinder the experience, but the small amount of time spent in each room makes the experience seem like a waste of both money and time. Often, there is not enough time given to even appreciate the art; the purpose was solely to take a photo and leave.

“It was just very disappointing because every single room or attraction was only for Instagram pictures, so after you took your picture there was no point of being there,” said Audrey Lee, “I think these museums show the extent people are willing to go to for social media and how social media makes people do crazy things these days like spend money to go and takes pictures,” she continued.

Both Instagram Museums and renowned museums seem to hold their own imperfections in the eyes of young people.

However, the idea of a perfect museum experience proves to be possible. Saisha Malhotra also recalled, “I went to the Museum of the City of New York … I really liked it. The exhibits were more interesting because they were current. There weren’t any tiny cards next to the paintings that no one reads. It was a lot more history, background, and context. It was a lot more relatable because it was pretty and nice to look at and it was more current so people today will care about it.”

According to students, an ideal museum seems to be a place that can be both aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking.