The Genius Way This Museum Is Showcasing Art It Can't Fit On Its Walls

Creating a whole new way to view art.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is using an innovative approach to bridge art and technology, and showcase the more than 30,000 works in its collection. After all, with limited wall space, the museum can't possibly display all its pieces.

"A little under 2,000 of them are on view at any one time in the galleries," Keir Winesmith, head of SFMOMA's Web and digital platforms, told NPR.


With that being the case, the museum can send works of art to your phone depending on your mood. All you have to do is text 57251, and send an emoji or describe a mood, and the museum will respond with one of its artworks.   

"We've now sent 2 million text messages in five days," Winesmith said to NPR.

However, it's not as simple as it seems. While most search for love or happiness and send flowers, dogs or cats emojis, if you get a little deeper, you may get a message that reads, "We could not find any matches. Maybe try 'Send me San Francisco' or 'Send me (ocean wave emoji)' or 'Send me something purple.' "

At least that's the response I received when texting "Send me (pregnant lady emoji)" and again with "Send me something about motherhood."  

But sure enough, when I text, "Send me (heart emoji)," I immediately got a response with Edward Weston's "Point Lobos" piece from 1929.

Trying to be clever again, I then text "Send me (praying hands emoji)" and got the error message mentioned above.

So, I kept it basic and wrote, "Send me something purple," and I got a really cool piece from Martin Venezky from 1998 entitled "Appetite Engineers poster."

SFMOMA's new approach to sharing art is definitely innovative, but a bit limited. Still, it's a cool concept that could probably be broadened with a few fixes. So text away art lovers and experience it for yourself!

"A lot of what I read from the news media is pretty negative, and sometimes a little depressing," Winesmith said. "We're able to create something that is not that, is a balance. Not quite an antidote, but certainly a balance to what's happening out there in the news media world."

(H/T: NPR)

Cover image via SFMOMA | / UnSplash


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