Football is known for trash talk—art museums, not so much. But when the two meet, you get #MuseumBowl, in which the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta engaged in a Twitter war in anticipation of this weekend’s Super Bowl, featuring the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
The two museums faced off beginning at 3 p.m. on February 3, throwing down art history–style with pictures of works from their respective collections.
The MFA opted for a series of cleverly Photoshopped paintings featuring historic Boston leaders—Sam Adams in a Patriots beanie, for instance, and his cousin President John Adams as an NFL coach, calling the plays on his headset.
“We may be art nerds, but we love our football in New England,” said MFA public relations director Karen Frascona in an email to artnet News. “A little known fact is that Patriots Nation actually started centuries ago with John Adams, John Hancock and Mercy Warren—just take a look at our Twitter feed!”
The High Museum took a different tack, comparing the Super Bowl’s Vince Lombardi Trophy to an African artwork from its collection, and mocking Boston’s frigid winter weather as opposed to Atlanta’s warmer climes in a side-by-side tweet of two landscape paintings.
In years past, museums in the two cities featured in the sporting event have on occasion engaged in a friendly wager over the game’s outcome. When the Patriots won in 2015 over the Seattle Seahawks, for instance, the Seattle Art Museum graciously loaned Albert Bierstadt’s Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast (1870) to the Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Had the Clark lost, the institution would have temporarily parted with Winslow Homer’s West Point, Prout’s Neck (1900).
When it was Seattle that reigned victorious in 2014, the Denver Art Museum sent Seattle The Broncho Buster, an iconic Frederic Remington bronze. Seattle had wagered a 1901 Japanese painted screen depicting an eagle on the seashore.
See more #MuseumBowl tweets below:
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