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Once stuffy and backward-looking, museums are now using social media to show their audiences a better time


DOUBLE VISION: Visitors to Denmark’s Statens Museum for Kunst are encouraged to get out their smartphones and interact with the collections.

ONE OF THE first things the Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark’s national gallery, did when it decided to modernize its display in late 2014, was to remove the signs that say “No photography.” According to Jonas Heide Smith, the head of digital communication at SMK, this was because many of the peculiar rules that museums traditionally insisted on—often in the service of health and safety, or copyright regulations—were being flouted by smartphonetoting visitors. “It [became] a losing battle to try to uphold them.” So down came the signs. It was a small change but part of a larger revolution.

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