24 June 2015 – the day preceding an important exhibition opening but somehow different than usual. The date was special thanks to Ottomaniainstameet, which we decided to hold for the first – though now we know that definitely not the last – time.
Here is how it usually goes: behind closed doors, the people responsible for the exhibition – the curator, coordinator, arranger, technicians – refine the details and get ready for the event which will take place the next evening, namely the exhibition opening. Here and there you can still see a ladder – useful till the last minute, because perhaps they will need to correct the inspcriptions on the wall, the floor is still covered with foil so that it doesn’t accidentally get dirty. But all this will soon disappear, and the morning will bear no trace of it at all. This time, however, was a little different than usual.
At that point in time – so important for any museum – we invited a group of Krakow Instagrammers for a pre-opening tour of our newest exhibition titled Ottomania. The Ottoman Orient in Renaissance Art. We wanted them to meet in this very place at our first museum Instameet. It wasn’t the first such meeting in the world or in Poland, but for us it was very important and unique. Since we set up our Instagram account – @thenationalmuseuminkrakow – last year, we have wanted to get to know the authors of all these beautiful photos from our branches, as well as our fans who we can always rely on. At the same time, we wanted to use this opportunity to offer them a bonus experience, which is why they ended up here at this particular point of our museum life, normally inaccessible to outsiders.
Before the participants began to independently explore, view and photograph the exhibition Ottomania. The Ottoman Orient in Renaissance Art, they had been taken on a guided tour by its curator – Michał Dziewulski.
The Instagrammers’ community undoubtedly changed the way we look at art and share it with others. Ottomaniainstameet provided an opportunity for a group of people associated with its Krakow branch to meet, learn and exchange experiences, while we were able to strengthen one of our most important goals – to enhance the cultural experience using a variety of digital tools.
Looking at our collection and temporary exhibitions through the eyes of Instagram users is an important, interesting and inspiring everyday experience. Every single time, the applied range of possibilities, as well as different, often quite surprising points of view teach us something new. In addition, such meetings allow us to learn even more about our audience – about what inspires them, what they read, what they know about art – and this is the value that gives us hope that there is much, much more behind all these nice photographs and all these filters. So see you at the next instameet!
Now take a look at the photos.
The event was co-organised in partnership with IgersKraków community. Special thanks go to Marlena Bogusz for her invaluable help.
Michalina Pieczonka – with the NMK for the last five years, presently working for the New Media Department where she creates and implements the Museum communications strategy in social media
Main photo – @michalramus