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London's museums are getting snap happy in the first #MuseumInstaSwap

Written by
Time Out London editors

Ten of London's most popular museums are going on a cultural exchange powered by social media. Instagram has invited the city's ten most popular Instagramming museums on a slumber party of sorts in the UK's first #MuseumInstaSwap.

They've all been selected for their gorgeous 'gramming skills and have been paired up with a fellow museum to swap locations with their exchange buddy for the week. They'll look around each other's museums for stories that fit with their own collections and share what they discover on Instagram.

The Imperial War Museum has disappeared into the depths of the British Museum's archives.


Meanwhile the Design Museum has gone gaga over the Science Museum's bicycle installation.


The V&A has hopped across the road to take its design-led Instagram feed into the world of the Natural History Museum.



The Natural History Museum is discovering beautifully carved shells in the V&A.



The Royal Museums Greenwich are getting excited over the Horniman's Totem Pole.




The British Museum has been learning about its own history at the Imperial War Museum.



We’re behind the scenes in the art department at @imperialwarmuseums, getting a glimpse of what the British Museum looked like during the First World War, as part of #MuseumInstaSwap. This beautiful work is by war artist Henry Rushbury, who was 25 when war broke out. Having studied at the Birmingham College of Art, specialising in stained glass design and mural decoration, during the war he served as an aircraft mechanic with the RAF and earned the rank of Sergeant. In 1918 he was invited by the Ministry of Information to become an official war artist, sent out to depict scenes of life in London. He produced a series of drawings of the British Museum, showing the ‘sand-bagging’ of antiquities as a defence against German air raids. In this scene three sculptures in the Egyptian gallery have been surrounded by sandbags – Rushbury has labelled them as Amenhotep I, Amenhotep III and the goddess Sekhet. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 1140)

A photo posted by British Museum (@britishmuseum) on


The museums relate to each other's history through a unique viewpoint with incredible behind-the-scenes detail.





Meanwhile the Wellcome Collection is getting pretty deep at the London Transport Museum. Typical.



10 London museums have paired up on @instagram this week to connect over stories and themes. Our partner is the dynamic @ltmuseum. Maps of London in the @ltmuseum like this one remind us of a brain, both in terms of the aesthetic and the network of channels that allows the city/brain to function. Cities and brains are organised in similar ways: in the same way evolution has shaped the brain, we have shaped our cities, increasing organisation and efficiency. As they grow larger, both cities and brains become more densely interconnected in order to function. Follow #MuseumInstaSwap to discover some uncanny links between collections across the city. Click the link in our profile to find out more. #museum #InstaMuseum #art #science #brain #map #anatomy #connection #network #city

A photo posted by Wellcome Collection (@wellcomecollection) on


Follow the action all this week using #MuseumInstaSwap.

For more of London's best museums, take a look at our list of the top ten in the capital.

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