When I was in College, they installed one of these in our Art Department. It was there on a trial basis to see if something like this would work! Well, we all loved it! What is it? It is a refurbished cigarette machine that sells art instead of cigarettes. I adored the fact that in keeping with the style the design was still very much the “old cigarette case” look, that very 1960’s-esque edge to it.

I don’t know if they have changed this part or not, but we had to use a special “token” to get the art out. You handed in your money to the Art office and received a chip that you would use to collect your chosen piece.

You really had no idea what was going to be in the boxes. The images used to “describe” it, was either just the Artist’s name or a very brief line, like, “man in a box”. You didn’t know what was going to pop out and that was half the fun. There was all sorts of things from mini oil paintings, to a book of photographs that told a story, to miniature statues, sometimes it was just typed text that had been pasted down and decorated.

I love the idea of “Art for the Masses”, and I mean this in the best possible sense. Not mass produced cheap art, but the Andy Warhol idea of mass production, in the sense that you were creating 20 or 30 of the same thing and quite possibly something to never be created again, but for $5, everyone had a chance to own a little piece of Art. It made it accessible and Art should be accessible. (I know I stray here a bit, in that Andy Warhol was mass producing to make a point about Art, but I think you get my point as well.)

I have the very lovely Sherry to thank for tweeting out this pic to me, it made me smile!

If you don’t already follow this gal through twitter, you certainly should, she is a sweetheart! Thanks for sending me this image, Sherry!

(Image Copyright: MerrieSherrie “Art dispensing vintage cigarette machine, Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas”)

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