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.
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.
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.
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?