Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Tate's Pinterest Top Ten Pin List

Last week I discovered that the Tate has a Pinterest account (see ).  I looked a bit further and realised that it was actually just a way of the Tate Gallery shops bringing their products that they're retailing to people's attention.

The selection of Boards created by the Tate Gallery on Pinterest
So you click on Damien Hirst or Gerhard Richter and think you might get to see more of their recent exhibitions.  You do - but only to the extent that the Tate is selling a poster of the work or the exhibition poster or a catalogue.  The account has identified, organised and set up a number of Boards which all feature items for sale in the Tate Gallery shops.

This is strictly retail folks!

The Top Ten Tate Gallery Pin List

In a very curious way, it tells you what people think about art, artists and what art museums are for. Could it be that museums have now morphed into shops?

So today the top ten boards which have attracted pins are as follows:
  1. Greetings Cards 104 pins
  2. Art Reads 86 pins
  3. Children's Gifts 65 pins
  4. Artist Products 48 pins
  5. Picasso & Modern British Art 48 pins
  6. Exhibition catalogues 44 pins
  7. Damien Hirst 44 pins
  8. Pre-Raphaelites 43 pins
  9. Children's Books 37 pins
  10. Kusama 31 pins
I found it all rather depressing.

Is this really the way that the Tate wants to be identified on Pinterest?  Compare for example the Smithsonian's approach - with their Archives of American Art account.


  1. Wow, that IS depressing! Waaaay back when I got introduced to Pinterest, (Victoria Smith from SG Girl by the Bay was hosting a blog hop where we all created a pinboard about what we thought "home" was), it was all about pinning OTHER people's pictures, making sure proper credit was given. I now thing that these guidelines for the blog hop, not Pinterest, but I can swear that I read a few articles when Pinterest was just starting that it was NOT about promoting your own work.

    With all the controversy around what one can and can't pin, I've never really taken to Pinterest, but have seen many people blog about what a great marketing tool it is. So I have obviously missed something somewhere - maybe the Tate read different articles than I did? :-)

  2. Pinterest was in severe danger of losing its "safe harbor" status re copyright infringement until it changed the rules back in April. The copyright infringements - with absolutely no credits back to originators - were numerous.

    All that should be pinned now are images which people have the right to share eg they painted it and/or repins of any images which have been shared by the copyright owners or museums.

    To my mind Pinterest makes an absolutely logical site for retailers to use. It's an excellent way of grouping items around topics which might interest people.

    However it could also be used by museums and art galleries to share artwork which is out of copyright - at a resolution which is not going to jeopardise their print sales. That's the disappointment for me in terms of the Tate's use of the site so far. I must prefer the Smithsonian approach. (Obviously there's a bit of an issue for Tate Modern re artwork NOT out of copyright - but Tate Britain should have less of a problem.

  3. I agree, the Smithsoian Archives of American Art is way more interesting and educational. The Tate could do more, but to be fair isn't Pinterest about style and not substance?

    1. I guess that:
      1) Pinterest could be so much more than just a style guide
      2) It really depends on what the Tate wants to make of it.


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