Like most museums, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art can show only a fraction of its collection at once, largely due to space constraints. In its case, only about 5% of its treasures are on view at a time. To increase accessibility to its nearly 35,000 works, the museum has a really neat tool that literally places artworks in the palm of your hand: Send Me SFMOMA, a text messaging service that sends you images of artworks in response to your personal interests.
All you have to do is send a request to the number 572-51, beginning with the words “send me” and followed by keywords, from a color to a subject, and even a mood. You may even text it an emoji, as seen in the above example, where the rainbow flag yielded Robert Arneson’s portrait of Harvey Milk. The service processes the info using the SFMOMA Collection API, and it delivers a relevant image followed by its artist, title, and date.
Launched earlier this year, the tool recently received an update to this five-digit pre-approved number; it previously ran on a 10-digit number and proved so popular that major mobile carriers apparently thought the museum was a spambot, as SFMOMA’s creative technologist Jay Mollica recounted in a blog post. The appeal is understandable, as the service is not only convenient and affordable for many (it’s free, but standard messaging rates apply) but also engages you with the collection in a way that is personal, fun, and even surprising at times.
As Mollica writes, “Send Me SFMOMA was conceived as a way to bring transparency to the collection while engendering further exploration and discussion among users.”
Like a true friend, Send Me SFMOMA always texts back, even if it can’t always deliver the goods and send you a match. But as the following results show, it responds to a wide array of demands, from those related to medium to a culture to an agenda, and much more. It will even humor your attempt to sext.
Memories So Fair and Bright
Kimetha Vanderveen’s paintings are about the interaction of materiality and light, the bond between the palpable and ephemeral world in which we live.
Artists Contemplate Sovereignty in Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2024 International Thematic Residency focuses on what sovereignty means for artists from across the world.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
How Did Early Modern European Craftspeople Pass On Their Knowledge?
A new book about object making critically examines a written history of working with materials.
Dual Portrait of Old Master Rachel Ruysch Holds a Trove of Secrets
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just acquired the rare painting, which depicts the Dutch artist at work surrounded by her signature flora.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Did Van Gogh’s Disdain for the Eiffel Tower Inspire “Starry Night”?
Art historian James Hall argues that van Gogh replaced the Eiffel Tower with a towering cypress tree and its inaugural light shows with the night sky.
Greek Museum Welcomes Dogs For World Stray Animal Day
Furry friends and their pawrents can visit Athens’s National Museum of Contemporary Art for free this weekend.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Ai Weiwei Recreates Monet’s “Water Lilies” Using 650,000 LEGOS
It’s the artist’s largest LEGO artwork to date.
Did a Simpsons Episode Predict the Florida “David” Outrage?
The episode, which aired 30 years ago, made a dark prediction about conservative politics in 2023.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.