Wonderful world of Leeds museums on show in global social media takeover
Sprucing up a polar bear, cleaning a Victorian street or taking care of a hoard of Saxon gold are just a few of the weird and wonderful things that go on behind the scenes each day at Leeds’s museums.
And in a special global social media takeover next week, staff will be showcasing some of the fascinating and unusual work that goes into protecting, preserving and promoting the city’s history.
Starting on Monday, Feb 8, Leeds Museums and Galleries digital team will be taking over the worldwide @52Museums Instagram account and sharing photos of some of the projects and exhibits that curators and staff have been working on with users across the globe.
The @52Museums initiative sees a different museum from across the world running the account each week throughout the year.
Leeds will be picking up the baton from previous participants including The Getty in Los Angeles, the State Historical Museum in Moscow, and Italy’s Massaciuccoli Romana.
Exhibits in the spotlight will include Leeds City Museum’s 200 year-old stuffed polar bear, which was a major exhibition when it was first brought to Leeds in 1828 by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society and which was cleaned up at the Leeds Discovery Centre.
Kirkstall’s Abbey House Museum will be featured in posts about their new Crime and Punishment exhibition, which includes a selection of artefacts exploring how crime, policing and justice have evolved through the centuries.
The incredible hoard of Saxon gold on display at Leeds City Museum will also be part of the takeover. Made up of gold jewellery dating from the seventh to 11th centuries, the West Yorkshire Hoard was recently placed in a new state-of-the-art interactive display.
And Temple Newsam House will be posting about their beautiful Chinese Drawing Room, decorated with what was just last week dubbed “the world’s most expensive wallpaper.”
Other sites including Lotherton Hall, Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Leeds Art Gallery will also be taking part and posting stories from their sites.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said:
"We have an extraordinary array of exhibitions and artefacts spread across our sites and this is a brilliant opportunity to showcase them to social media users around the world.
“It’s exciting to think that history-lovers in other countries will get the chance to learn a bit about Leeds and see just a few of the many fabulous things that make us so proud of our museums and galleries.”
The @52Museums project was established by Mar Dixon, a pioneer of museum social media projects including #museumselfie day, and aims to promote museums from big national sites to smaller independents.
Leeds Museums and Galleries digital team will be taking over the @52Museums Instagram account from Monday, Feb 8 until Sunday, Feb 14.
To follow the takeover, visit @LeedsMuseums on Instagram or follow @52Museums.