Here Are Instagram’s Most Popular Art Posts of 2017—and Why

The social media app has also revealed the most Instagrammed museums of 2017.

Awol Erizku's Beyoncé pregnancy announcement photograph. Photo via Instagram.

It’s official: Los Angeles- and New York-based artist Awol Erizku is responsible for the most popular Instagram photo of the year, posted by pop superstar Beyoncé in February. The beautiful shot is loaded with art historical references, but its insane popularity—11.1 million “likes” and counting—is due, of course, to the fact that the image doubled as a pregnancy announcement for the singer, who gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir Carter in July. Beyond taking top honors for 2017, the photo ranks as the most “liked” Instagram post of all time.

As 2017 draws to a close, Instagram has shared a list of the year’s social media superlatives, from the users with the most followers—Selena Gomez, edging out the 116 million-plus followers of fellow singer football star Cristiano Reynaldo, with over 130 million fans—to the world’s most Instagrammed cities: New York, followed by Moscow and London.

Once again, #love reigned supreme as the year’s top hashtag, but #art saw the fifth largest growth in use on the app for the year, after #photography, #2017, #travel, and #instagood.

Beyoncé actually posted the fourth most popular photo of the year as well, a similarly styled shot of herself holding her young progeny in front of a floral canopy by the sea. Mason Poole, a videographer and artist based in Los Angeles and Paris, was responsible for the photo, which topped out at 10.2 million likes. Reynaldo—who also had twins this year—shared the second, fifth, and eighth most popular photos of the year, with posts by Gomez rounding out the rest of the top 10.

In other art-related Instagram news, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the most Instagrammed museum of 2016, was the only art institution to make the list of the world’s top 10 Instagram locations, clocking in at number seven.

Outside the Louvre, six US museums made the list of the world’s top 10 most Instagrammed institutions: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York ranked second, followed by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In sixth and seventh place were the American Museum of Natural History and Whitney Museum of American Art, also in New York. Coming in tenth, and at a far remove from those august institutions, was the Los Angeles location of the designed-for-Instagram Museum of Ice Cream.

Joining those institutions in the top 10 most Instagrammed US museums were the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC,—no doubt thanks to its Yayoi Kusama blockbuster and its subsequent attendance boost—and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, both in New York.

Abroad, London museums also did well, with the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Natural History Museum coming in fifth, eighth, and ninth. Just outside the top 10 was the National Gallery Singapore.

Here are some posts from the art world’s most popular museums on Instagram.

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