Museum Memes

Pike sprays the languid picnickers of Edouard Manet’s “The Luncheon on the Grass.” James Alex (Via Washington Post see link below)

Pike sprays the languid picnickers of Edouard Manet’s “The Luncheon on the Grass.”
James Alex (Via Washington Post see link below)

I recently got asked if I had a list of meme sites relating to museums and art history. Shockingly I didn’t, so I compiled one. I explore the impact that memes and digital re-appropriation have on museum practice within my PhD thesis – so this is a list more than a full blog post.

A List of Museum Memes

Ugly Renaissance Babies

Beyonce Art History

Nipples at The Met

Babes at the Museum (I personally hate this one!)

Museum Hey Girl (a Ryan Gosling based site)

Art History Memes

Pepper Spray Cop Works His Way through Art History (A Washington Post Article with lots of examples)

Here are some additions to my original post:

@BlaireMoskowitz suggested:

Fat Cat Art (Cat additions to famous paintings)

How to Sound Like an Art History Expert (With Jay-Z Lyrics)

@KatieOman suggested:

Ryan Gosling Arts Administrator

@CharlotteFrost suggested:

#emjoiart history (which I love!)

The new aesthetic

The Gif Connoisseur

Digital Folklore

@Leigh_Silver (creator of Beyonce Art History)

Bitchface: The Masterworks

@Anne6fy pointed out:
Art history’s best beards

The scariest babies in renaissance paintings

Art Appropriation

The biggest bromances in art history


The Northern Irish Gallery of Art

Girl With A Primark Earring

Girl With A Primark Earring via The Northern Irish Gallery of Art

Articles and Context

@bergfulton suggested I add this great article by @suzecairns
i can has mewseum (Or, Should Your Museum Acquire A LoLCat?)

I also came across ‘Art Fun’ a great series of ‘official’ museum memes from The Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Hey Girl

This Presentation by Georgina Goodlander, Web and Social Media Manager at Smithsonian American Art Museum explains more about these memes


A quick google image search for ‘Art History Memes’ turns up hundreds more

If you have any more that you think I should add to my list  then leave a comment below or tweet me @OonaghTweets

14 thoughts on “Museum Memes

    • Oonagh Murphy says:

      Love this Charlotte cheers for suggesting it! Hours of fun, sorry I mean research contained in this list ;-D

  1. T.H. Gray says:

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    Based on your post, we thought you might enjoy the American Hysterical Society’s blog, Peabody’s Lament. The AHS is the world’s first, largest, and only museum dedicated to collecting, creating, and curating comic and satirical perspectives on Clio and her misguided minions. You can find us at

    T.H. Gray, Director-Curator
    American Hysterical Society

  2. culturecom says:

    I understand why you hate the “Babes at the Museum”website. The museum is here to provide an excuse to show naked girls. Why not to show guys as well?

    • Oonagh Murphy says:

      Yes it’s just a bit of a weird site! If it was a style blog I would probably love it – I love seeing what people where to exhibition openings.

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