Advertising Art

Look! It's Urban Light!Museums, along with every other institution, are taking a hit in these straitened times; or so I dimly gather from Tweets, weblogs and half-read newspaper articles. Museum investments (the interest on which keeps the Monets on the wall) have taken a hit. Donors, too, having taken hits themselves, are not donating at those gracious levels that make curators do their little victory dances after successful fundraisers. Worst of all, economic distress has resulted in museum employees being layed off.

All tough news. I don’t know what I’d do without art museums. Schmooz tycoons? The section in my Rolodex where I list all the wealthy art-collectors  who I can drop in on for a bit of cultural uplift is pretty thin. Empty actually.

The Dürer bug scares me.So I was pleased to see these clever ads for two of my art-gawking mainstays: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and The Getty Art Museum. I fervently hope the ads return whatever they cost with a stampede of new art-hungry visitors and museum gift shop spenders.

These particular posters which I spent long minutes studying — I assume there are others placed strategically around the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area — curve about one side of cylindrical advertising pillars, sharing space with notices about new movies and places to make one’s skin silky smooth. The pillars themselves stand in the Calabasas Commons, a somewhat upscale mall where women shop for overpriced clothing while their bored husbands stand around abjectly on the sidewalk taking pictures of pillars with ads for local art museums.

May the notices call as strongly to the monied hordes as they called to me.

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