It was inevitable that the acceleration of digital communication, social sharing, virtual presence, legacy of the pandemic, would shift the focus on the online activities of museums, be them large, medium or small (the classification is exclusively related the number of works exhibited). Someone stood by, someone took the opportunity to refine the dusty connotation associated with museums.

Two institutions that we know well are the National Picture Gallery of Siena and the National Gallery of Umbria , and let’s take them for example. The beauty of the works that are kept there is undoubted.

But their collection is not the protagonist of their presence on social networks. What we have noticed is their desire to conquer visitors using new topics, e.g. showing how is life inside a gallery.

I.e. what those who work there do and think daily, what activities are carried out there, the improvements that are made to the exhibition, the events that take place inside the museum and that perhaps have a direct reference to what is happening in their territory at that precise moment.

The Pinacoteca di Siena , a true treasure trove of Sienese and Tuscan painters of the high epoch, has been snubbed for many years by the large tourist flows that stopped at the nearby Piazza del Campo and the Duomo. In recent years it has seen a succession of directors only to be led, since last March 28 by Axel Hèmery

Since 15 June it has been part of the new Sienese cultural center consisting of the National Art Gallery, the National Archaeological Museum, Palazzo Chigi Piccolomini alla Postierla and Villa Brandi, all led by the same director.

The change of pace is very evident and the messages were by no means trivial. The social communication of the museum is conveyed exclusively on Facebook, where you can find posts where employees tell about their work experience and the painting they love most, also inviting visitors to become “beauty keepers” and share a photo of them next to their favorite work on social networks

We found particularly engaging a post from June 24th where the speak in italics , thanks to the social page of Mo (n) stre .

We now leave Siena and reach Perugia where the Galleria dell’Umbria (GNU) has seen an authentic revolution thanks to a project supported from an important loan, to redesign the entire museum itinerary, even to patent the new “pantograph” anti-seismic consoles (hey will allow, whenever necessary, the inspection of the back of an artwork without having to remove the paintings from their location).

The museum, already very active on social networks, has refined its language even more. The website is totally new and the museum is present on 5 social platforms, where it daily post intriguing stories. They also used important partners to “return to the scene” such as, for the little ones, the stories of Pimpa, and other web celebrities like Taffo or Mo(n)stre.

And now? The #GNU tells is asking everyone to share their photos and their impressions of the redesigned gallery.

This new way of communication chosen by those museums offers enormous opportunities to disseminate knowledge of our heritage, no longer mediated by manuals and guides, but managed directly, in dialogue with visitors. So from today we are encouraged to go to the museum repeatedly and be the protagonists.

Emanuela Massa
Emanuela Massa

p.s here some previous posts on how we made our services available to museums in Siena and Perugia