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.
The Best Memes Roasting the “We ❤️ NYC” Campaign
A graphic designer on Twitter created a hilarious send-up of the universally reviled logo, and the rest is history.
Did You Know These Museums Were Free for New Yorkers?
The “Free Admission” campaign is advocating to make ticket pricing information more transparent to visitors, who may be confused or misled by institutions’ language.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
AI Images Visualizing Trump’s Arrest Send Internet Into a Frenzy
The pictures, created using Midjourney, depict the former president’s greatest fantasy: being dragged away by police in front of the cameras.
Some AI Artworks Now Eligible for Copyright
New guidance from the US Copyright Office sets some policies around AI-generated images.
Haggerty Museum of Art Presents Tomás Saraceno in Dialogue With Dr. Somesh Roy
The artist and researcher will explore soot’s effects on climate change and public health in this online conversation.
NYC Hispanic Society Workers to Strike Indefinitely
One worker said the museum’s “skeletal” workforce bars the institution from functioning to its potential.
In Search of Inclusive South Asian Futurisms
We have been dangerously siloed for far too long by colonial constructs of race, nation, and time that separate, divide, and deny us our very being.
McKnight Visual Artist Fellows Discussion Series at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The series features 2021 Fellows David Bowen, Mara Duvra, Rotem Tamir, Ben Moren, and Dyani White Hawk in conversation with renowned curators and critics.
What Do Shtreimels and Cowboy Hats Have in Common?
A chance meeting on the subway introduced photographer Francesca Magnani to the multicultural world of Brooklyn milliner Richard Faison.
Richard Hull Completes the Picture
Once known for his abstracted portraits, the Chicago artist is now exploring new directions.
Nevada Museum of Art Presents Adaline Kent: The Click of Authenticity
For the first time in nearly 60 years, the innovative yet under-recognized artist is the subject of a retrospective exhibition. On view in Reno, Nevada.
You Too Can Have Your Art on a Postage Stamp
The process isn’t complicated, and thousands of people submit themselves for the talent pool every year.
Bobby Wilson Combats Indigenous Stereotypes Through Humor
The artist-performer’s career undulates, ever so gracefully, across multiple mediums and registers of generational pain, healing laughter, and Indigenous joy.