Lists of ladies

The Museum of New Art blitzes their Facebook page with female features that feel incomplete and temporary

The Museum of New Art in Detroit has a Facebook page that I enjoy following because they have a real commitment to content, focusing often on one artist at a time and posting images, bios, and links to further work. When these posts show up in my feed, it’s a refreshing, beautiful, educational break from the various levels of mundane in the stream.

So I was excited when they started posting a series of women artists (it’s a very male-heavy page), even though they attached the caveat:

Next, by request, a series of Women Artists (I’m going to post these all at once, so sorry I don’t have time for biographies)

As they rolled by, I saw so many unknown names! So many interesting faces!

But it started to feel overwhelming and underwhelming all at once. Perhaps, since it was by request, this excellent gesture was created too quickly to fill a gap that had been pointed out.

There were too many to take in at once, unless you refreshed all night or returned to the page to view en masse. The lack of biographical information or even links to a source of work left me a bit sour, like the profiles would be here and gone without any context. And the fact that most of them were photos OF the artists, without reference to their work, meant I had no idea what some of them did. And then there was the odd inclusion of movie stars like Marion Cotillard and Marilyn Monroe, photographed by men.

Anyway, I hate to nitpick about content presentation when I’m grateful the content is being presented at all, but there was no way to keep up with all these disappearing women.

I’m not posting this to needle the Museum of New Art’s social media team. I get it, we all lack in resources. I just think there’s an important takeaway that we should always be reminding ourself: as social media content producers, it’s so important to think about the timing, medium, place, and context of anything you produce. We’re not just content farms, pumping out indexable pages or shareable posts. I appreciate that the gesture of lady representation was made at all, but it’s a good reminder that if the goal is to present a special feature on an underserved topic, then it makes absolute sense to create a real experience with some depth so you can serve it a little better.


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