Pinterest has a reputation as the social media channel for food and fashion, but there’s much more to the visual network. It’s a combination of eye candy and information, with businesses, educators and magazines now using Pinterest to complement their other online material.
One surprising industry that has jumped on the bandwagon is that of museums. Several of these venerable cultural institutions have proven themselves masters of Pinterest’s social media world. Museums of all kinds and sizes have created profiles, and they’re finding creative ways to bring their programs to an online audience.
From famous institutions to local operations, here are eight museums that are pinning like champions.
1. London’s Natural History Museum has a Pinterest page that creates a sense of community and openness, which is surprising for an institution that could easily be seen as stuffy and elite. Not only do many pins showcase artifacts and objects from the permanent collection, but the social media curators also seek out photos taken by visitors.
For instance, a board devoted to the annual Science Uncovered event includes visitor photos culled from Instagram and Twitter.
2. The J. Paul Getty is particularly noteworthy on this list for its impressive audience of more than 1 million followers. Part of what makes its profile unique is the tongue-in-cheek approach to what pieces it shares, both from the Getty’s own collection and from all over the art world.
How could you not love a Pinterest board of striking smiles titled <URL destination="http://www.pinterest.com/gettymuseum/say-cheese/">“Say Cheese!”?
</URL>3. Museum at FIT: This museum is an obvious match for Pinterest. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which has dubbed itself “the most fashionable museum in New York City,” caters to the sartorial obsession of many Pinterest members with a rare level of expertise.
Expect to see pins of amazing art and artifacts from the fashion world throughout history.
4. National Cowboy Museum: You probably didn’t even know the National Cowboy Museum was a thing. This institution is all about the history, art and pop culture of those frontier folks.
On Pinterest, its main focus is on items from the museum’s store, but you can also get fashion ideas, decorating inspiration and a little bit of education on the side. It’s a must-follow for anybody who loves the Wild West.
5. San Diego Air and Space Museum: The focus is definitely on education and community with this Pinterest account. The San Diego Air and Space Museum has boards dedicated to events and projects for teachers. The museum took a smart approach to sharing interesting historical moments in aviation history by creating boards for different eras.
6. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: For aeronautics with an East Coast flair, go to the Pinterest page for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The topics are very similar to those shared by the San Diego institution, offering followers a great combination of educational facts and flights of fancy.
The still photos from the museum’s Public Observatory are especially cool.
7. Button Art Museum: Pinterest has billed itself as a place for people to share their passions, and that wholehearted love is on grand display with the Button Art Museum’s Pinterest profile. Whether you’re looking for project ideas, impressive artwork or just a huge number of buttons in all shapes and sizes, this is a place to share your obsession.
8. Morikami Museum: You might not think Southern Florida is a likely place for learning about Japanese culture, but that’s precisely what the Morikami Museum has set out to do. Luckily for non-Floridians, the museum has brought a large portion of its program online.
This article originally appeared on Mashable, www.mashable.com