Image via SFMOMA

A lighthearted and fun project via the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) that creatively uses cellphones and emojis has recently gone viral. Will you give it a try?

Whether you’re happy, sad, confused, angry, or a robot, texting emojis to the SFMOMA will get you art in return. Over the past few weeks, the museum has begun a project in which the public can text the number 57251 with the words “send me” followed by a word or emoji. The result? The museum will send you a related photo of an artwork in its world-class collection.

Image via SFMOMA

It’s easy, free, and requires no downloads, which has turned the small project into a viral hit in the digital world. Melena Ryzik of the New York Times reports, “The project, ‘Send Me SFMOMA,’ has been an ingenious, playful way to inject some rarefied culture into an everyday habit. And for art lovers, it has unearthed some unexpected artworks, long hidden in storage, along the way.

Image via SFMOMA

“Begun quietly last month, the project has become a viral hit, with over 2 million text messages delivered since Sunday alone,” said Keir Winesmith, head of web and digital platforms for SFMOMA. (The service is free.)

“It’s far more popular than the museum ever imagined, with people indulging in a long back-and-forth, binge texting. And it’s also revealed something surprising about its users — about how, and when, they want to interact with art, and how much they crave a personal connection with cultural authority.”

Image via SFMOMA

Among the top searches include “sad” and “inspiration,” but the potential is near limitless. To learn more, visit the New York Times.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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