Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How does a museum "acquire" an "@" sign?

You have to hand it to the Museum of Modern Art in New York for its p.r. hubris: it announced today that it has "acquired" the "@" sign! One might legitimately ask: is this the original @ sign? Their answer: no, of course not. All right, maybe I'm being a little picky here. What they've actually done (since it's not possible to acquire @) is to designate it a work of art, a seminal design creation worthy of celebration. I can't disagree with that.

The '@' Symbol
Image source: MOMA. Ray Tomlinson. @. 1971. Here displayed in ITC American Typewriter Medium, the closest approximation to the character used by a Model 33 Teletype in the early 1970s, according to MOMA.

No comments: