Picture Perfect: Art Show Text Messages Keep Visitors, Organizers Snap Happy

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There’s a lot of covert phone camera snapping at art exhibits. Cameras are almost never allowed (how could they sell postcards, otherwise?), but that doesn’t stop visitors from trying to get a picture of a work they want to look at again, later.

This is especially a problem in Italy, where there are more cellphones than people and text messages are used for everything from food price checks to flood alerts.

One solution?

A recently-launched Samurai exhibit in Milan features some text-enabled works.

For the cost of a text message, exhibit organizers send you a picture of the work, plus a detailed description of it. In this case (and yes, that’s my battered Nokia above), there was more information provided with the texted image about the Elk-horned warrior from the Edo period than in the exhibit.

It’s also a better pic than you’d be able to take on the sly. You can download it from your phone as a 60KB image — and then send it as a postcard if you fancy.