Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

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Museum Marketing: Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France

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Art Institute of Chicago

If you’re like me, you already check out your reflection in the huge windows of ground floor lobbies in downtown.  Don’t lie; it’s impossible not to when faced with such large expanses of glass.  The Art Institute’s marketing campaign for its current temporary exhibition, show Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France only makes things worse (or better).  Better.  Museums in Chicago love a creative marketing campaign (see previous post on The Horse at the Field).

Look at yourself, just look at yourself!

Why this campaign is better than the Horse campaign: The campaign uses artwork in the exhibition.  Both Jean Bourdichon’s Louis XII Kneeling in Prayer (1498/99) and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Madonna of the Yarnwinder are used.  (The latter is the clear superstar of the show.)  The marketing campaign pairs these paintings with large, silver, reflective material, on which are printed crowns and scepters.  The idea is to look into these mirrors and picture yourself as a King or Queen, or as a Madonna…

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Museum Marketing: The Horse

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Field Museum

The Field Museum loves owned media particularly social media (the stuff you don’t pay for).  It has a brand new website, facebook, twitter (Sue the t-rex even has her own), flickr, and yes it still has a myspace.  With all this owned media, you would think they would be paying for much promotion.  Despite all its social media the Field still likes to pay major ducats for marketing campaigns and advertisements.  These campaigns range from creative and innovative, to downright awful (and probably grossly expensive).  There was that time the loop was invaded by theme park pirate sculptures, then there was the time with unicorns into the St. Patrick’s parade, there was also that time they converted buses into wooly mammoths, and also that time they projected a mermaid on the buildings along Michigan Avenue (sorry couldn’t find a link for this one).  The Field is like case study book for a marketing class.

Let’s explore.

The current temporary exhibition at the Field Museum is The Horse. The show is organized by the American Museum of Natural History (they love to rent out shows) in collaboration with The Field, as well as with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the San Diego Natural History Museum (an eclectic bunch).  The marketing campaign for show can be seen in bus shelters (way popular placement for the Field), as well as whizzing past on top of taxi cabs.

Trojan Pig.

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