Metro

Museums have ‘swapped’ Instagram accounts for the day to show off the area’s cultural institutions

If you’re swiping through Instagram today, you may be asking yourself this question: Why in the world is the Museum of Science posting pictures of Takashi Murakami’s “Lineage of Eccentrics” exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts?

And what’s up with the New England Aquarium sharing images of large drum barrels stacked on top of each other at the deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln? If you were hoping to see some sea lions in your feed, you may need to check the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s social media account instead.

The confusion isn’t that confusing at all, it turns out. For the second year in a row, museums and cultural institutions in Boston and beyond are “swapping” Instagram accounts for the day so they can bring greater awareness about the area’s vast arts and science culture to more social media streams.

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It’s called the “BostonInstaSwap,” and it works like this: Eighteen museums — from as close as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to as far away as the Rose Art Museum, in Waltham, to name just two — send one of their respective employees to a different museum for a few hours.

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While there, the person is tasked with snapping and sharing pictures from the scene, highlighting exhibits and giving their followers a different experience.

“New office for the day,” the Rose Art Museum posted on Instagram Friday morning, beneath a photograph of ropes and pulleys on a ship near the USS Constitution museum.

Lauren Marshall, from the Harvard Art Museums, came up with the idea last year and coordinated the initiative with the Museum of Fine Art’s communications team. The organizations saw the one-day campaign as a way to showcase the diversity of institutions Boston has to offer.

Similar museum “Instaswaps” have been organized in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

Here’s the list of accounts that have “swapped” for the day:

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- The Peabody Essex Museum will explore the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

- The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will explore the Davis Museum

- The Davis Museum will explore the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture

- The Harvard Museums of Science and Culture will explore the Peabody Essex Museum

- The Harvard Art Museums will explore the Museum of Science

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- The Museum of Science will explore the Museum of Fine Arts

- The Museum of Fine Arts will explore the Boston Public Library

- The Boston Public Library will explore the Rose Art Museum

- The Rose Art Museum will explore the USS Constitution Museum

- The USS Constitution Museum will explore the Harvard Art Museums

- The New England Aquarium will explore the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

- The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum will explore the MIT Museum

- The MIT Museum will explore the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will explore the New England Aquarium

- The MIT List Visual Arts Center will explore the Boston Children’s Museum

- The Boston Children’s Museum will explore the ICA/Boston

- The ICA/Boston will explore Historic New England

- Historic New England will explore the MIT List Visual Arts Center

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.