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  • Writer's pictureMonica

Art Museum Predictions for 2024: A Creative Outlook on the Future

As we stand on the cusp of 2024, it’s only fitting to indulge in a bit of future thinking regarding the wonderful world of art museums. Taking a leaf from the book of annual predictions, à la Scott Galloway (my favorite tech bro), and infusing a touch of internet humor I present you with a blend of seven art museum predictions for the upcoming year. A mélange of insightful foresight from friends in the art world, personal observations from museum visits and a sprinkle of #arttok.

Why seven you ask? Perhaps I couldn’t think of more, perhaps I’m superstitious, it is a lucky number after all…

Enjoy and please share your thoughts and personal predictions in the comments — wrong answers only! :)

view of the sea from Teshima Art Museum
The serene view at Teshima Art Museum, Teshima Island, Japan

Prediction #1: No more photos, please!

The tranquil Teshima Art Museum — Photo Credit: Naomi Pollock, FAIA

Having recently explored the enchanting Teshima and Naoshima art islands in Japan, I couldn’t help but appreciate the tranquility that comes with a “no photo” rule within museums. It was quite relaxing to be undisturbed by the constant clicking of cameras and smartphone selfie frenzies. My favorite moment was entering the Teshima Art Museum, lying beneath on of the windows in their ceiling and drifting off…

This contemplation took an intriguing turn at Fondation Beyeler in Riehen. While photography without flash is generally permitted, certain paintings carried a “no photo” icon next to their exhibition text. Curiosity led to a conversation with the guards, who explained that certain private collectors preferred their artworks not to be photographed. This made me think about the impact on art valuation and the potential consequences of artworks appearing on social media — or not? And if and how they would actually enforce the rule it if I was to take a sneaky pic…

Prediction #2: Art Museums as Selfie Destinations

One of Kim Kardashian’s many instagram photos at teamLab’s Tokyo exhibition

Any good fortune teller and prediction maker like myself will tell you that predictions can and will contradict each other. My educated guess for 2024 and beyond is that art museums will become the ultimate selfie destinations. The proliferation of mirror room selfies, particularly from exhibitions like Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms, teamLab’s Crystal Universe, and Christian Megert’s “Environment” currently showing MCBA, suggests a growing trend.

Striking a balance between maintaining exclusivity and leveraging the promotional power of social media might become a delicate dance for art institutions. And there is no denying the power of the “instagram post to museum visit” pipeline. You know it works when even celebrities like the Kardashians line up to get their mirror selfie — and subsequently drive millions of teenagers to do the same.

Prediction #3: Social Media is the new Museum Marketing Team

#arttok screenshots of art museum social media content

In 2023, art museums finally woke up to social media marketing. They brought in talented teams and individuals to handle their online presence, and threads (= instagram’s version of twitter) became the new buzz, especially for art museums. TikTok also saw the rise of independent art content creators, many managing both their personal accounts as well as creating content for art museums, artists and art galleries. One of my favorites is Karen Vidangos, aka @latinainmuseums, who runs her own TikTok channel and is the social media manager at the Guggenheim.

While Instagram is still a go-to for creatives, signs suggest a declining shift similar to what happened with Facebook. Most museums seem unsure about diving into TikTok, making us wonder if their marketing teams are ready for the change. Some museums and galleries have done the basics, like securing usernames and adding their logo (I see you David Zwirner Gallery…). But what’s next? It seems like some are just waiting around, maybe because they’re missing the right people on their marketing teams or aren’t ready to free up some money?

I get budgets are tight, but an easy and affordable way to dip one’s toes into social media marketing is teaming up with micro-influencers and local creators to create engaging content. It’s a smart move for community building without breaking the bank. If you’re interested, but don’t know where to start, let’s chat — I’ve got the hook-up with some awesome micro-influencers in your city.

Find the Art Museum Predictions #4 - #7 here on medium.

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