Artist-in-residence schemes can be found at museums and galleries across the world, but offering a residency devoted to reimagining both a museum’s traditional content and its social media output is a path far less trodden.

Every Monday the social media feed of the Musée d’Orsay is hauling in a lot of traction, comments and thousands of likes. The reason? Jean-Philippe Delhomme.

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Le dessin de la semaine par @jeanphilippedelhomme : 💬🇫🇷 Aimé par cabanel et 1127 autres personnes JK_Huysmans: Enfin un @gervex que je peux regarder #rolla gervex: 🙏🙏🙏 @JK_Huysmans . This week cartoon by @jeanphilippedelhomme: 💬🇬🇧 Liked by cabanel and 1127 others JK_Huysmans: At least a @gervex I can look at #rolla gervex: 🙏🙏🙏 @JK_Huysmans . #jeanphilippedelhomme #museeorsay #orsaymuseum #museedorsay #cartoon #dessin #artistsinstagram #huysmans #gervex @mba_bordeaux . En 2020, le musée d'Orsay accueille Jean-Philippe Delhomme en résidence sur son compte Instagram. Un rendez-vous hebdomadaire mettant en images la vie du musée et les artistes de sa collection. . In 2020, the Musée d'Orsay welcomes Jean-Philippe Delhomme in residence on Instagram for a weekly encounter with the life of the museum and its artists.

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Currently in residence at the d’Orsay, Delhomme is the author of Artists’ Instagrams: The Never Seen Instagrams of the Greatest Artists, a book exploring how some of the art world’s masters may have used their talents in an online world. He is now applying this concept to the museum’s Instagram, which is garnering a great deal of admiration.

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Le dessin de la semaine par @jeanphilippedelhomme: 💬🇫🇷 Aimé par fantin-latour et 273 autres personnes odilon_redon: Un esprit nommé The Grateful Dead a prononcé le mot "psychedelic" à propos de mon portrait de #paulgauguin. p_serusier: Dingue! . This week cartoon by @jeanphilippedelhomme: 💬🇬🇧 Liked by fantin-latour and 273 others odilon_redon: A spirit called The Grateful Dead said the word “psychedelic” about my #paulgauguin portrait. p_serusier : Sick ! . #jeanphilippedelhomme #museeorsay #orsaymuseum #museedorsay #cartoon #dessin #artistsinstagram #odilonredon #paulgauguin #symbolism . En 2020, le musée d'Orsay accueille Jean-Philippe Delhomme en résidence sur son compte Instagram. Un rendez-vous hebdomadaire mettant en images la vie du musée et les artistes de sa collection. . In 2020, the Musée d'Orsay welcomes Jean-Philippe Delhomme in residence on Instagram for a weekly encounter with the life of the museum and its artists.

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The opportunity represents the shift in attitudes towards social media in the sector. Having been regarded by some as a necessary evil, many cultural institutions are now getting increasingly playful with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Little wonder, given the runaway success of the Museum of English Rural Life’s infamous ‘look at this absolute unit’ Tweet in 2018.

That now iconic Tweet even outmuscled strong traditional marketing campaigns to scoop the Marketing Campaign of the Year award at the 2019 Museums + Heritage Awards. Cultural institutions undoubtedly have huge potential to leverage social media as a tool for maximising engagement and attracting new, younger audiences.

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The MERL's famous Tweet back in the days before it hit 100,000 likes

Residencies which give social media accounts different identities for a limited period of time, akin to a temporary exhibition, could well be the future of the sector’s online presence.


You can follow Delhomme’s creations at museeorsay on Instagram

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