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.
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.
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, and members of the Museum of Fine Arts communications team came up with the coordinated effort last year. 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.
Karen Frascona, a spokeswoman for the Museum of Fine Arts, said last year was such a success that there was no question they would try and pull it off a second time.
“It’s an exciting day for all of us as we see new discoveries about each other’s institutions unveiled to the Instagram community,” she said in a statement. “We’re hopeful that the #BostonInstaSwap will continue for many years to come.”
Here’s the list of accounts that have “swapped” for the day:firstname.lastname@example.org.