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@ MoMA

I recently learned that the @ symbol — a key stroke most of us use so frequently we hardly even notice — is now in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

garrettc flickr.com Pride of theValley Sculpture Park, Surrey (set)

MoMA’s Senior Curator Paola Antonelli says, “Contemporary art, architecture, and design can take on unexpected manifestations, from digital codes to Internet addresses and sets of instructions that can be transmitted only by the artist. In order to understand why we have chosen to acquire the @ symbol, and how it will exist in our collection, it is necessary to understand where @ comes from, and why it’s become so ubiquitous in our world.” For an in depth report on history of the symbol including the cost of the acquisition, visit MoMA’s Inside/Out blog for details.

Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut "A View Without the Head, 2008" zatista.com

I incorrectly thought the origins of this symbol dated back to the typewriter. Can you guess how long @ has been around? The MoMA blog, Inside/Out, shows an image of @ in a letter written in Italy in 1536.

Laysa Issam Al Fannan "Type" trueartifice.com

As a fan of typography, I am also drawn to text in fine art. To celebrate letters, symbols, and MoMA’s acquisition, here’s a peek at some artwork that makes prominent use of type.

Barbara Kruger "Belief + Doubt = Sanity" Sprüth Magers Berlin London artnet.com

Berk Kizilay deviantart.com

Daniel Grant "Surf Motel" zatista.com

Ed Ruscha "Mocha Standard" artnet.com

Latisha Yates "Hidden from Streets" zatista.com

Lloyd Schermer "Happy Times VI" Ann Korologos Gallery artnet.com

Noe Badillo "Alphabetic Chart- Greek" zatista.com

Robert Indiana "Love Wall" nycgovparks.org

Simon Fairless "Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Into the Kitchen" zatista.com

Tina Rodriguez "Rise" zatista.com

If you appreciate typography too, make a nice big bowl of popcorn, curl up on the couch, and check out the film Helvetica by Gary Hustwit.

Are symbols or text part of your original art collection?

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