On February 2, the Jewish Museum joined 17 other museums in New York City in #MuseumInstaSwap, an initiative that partnered museums with each other to swap Instagram accounts for the day. Who took part?
- The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Jewish Museum
- American Museum of Natural History and The Museum of Modern Art
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
- Museum of the City of New York and The New Museum
- The Museum of Arts and Design and The Whitney Museum of American Art
- The Frick Collection and New-York Historical Society
- Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and Neue Galerie
- Queens Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Guggenheim Museum and Liberty Science Center
Although the Jewish Museum and Studio Museum in Harlem may not have a closely connected institutional history, we were intrigued by our pairing as an opportunity to tell the story of museums that represent identity and culture. A critical component of sharing a visit to the Studio Museum to Jewish Museum followers on Instagram began with the museum’s artist-driven history. The Studio Museum was founded by artists and activists in 1968 and to this day continues to support artists of African or Latino descent through its residency program, which gives the museum the “Studio” in its name. We were invited to the studio spaces upstairs and met some of the artists in residence. In the lobby, we could not resist capturing the spirit of this museum with Glenn Ligon’s iconic work Give us a Poem, a light installation blinking the words “me, we.” As a museum for people of all backgrounds, we were drawn to this work as a poignant statement about identity and community that extends beyond our own. We also discovered unexpected overlap in artists represented in both museum collections and exhibitions, including Kehinde Wiley who was the subject of a major exhibition at the Jewish Museum in 2012 Kehinde Wiley / The World Stage: Israel, and part of our collection.