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American Art-O-Mat
July 26, 2010


Our Art-O-Mat is now dispensing art in our Luce Foundation Center.

We’re very excited about the shiny new Art-O-Mat that arrived in the Luce Foundation Center this week. Now you can start your very own collection of American Art right here in the museum—becoming a collector has never been so convenient!

In the late 1990s, artist Clark Whittington took advantage of the recent ban on cigarette vending machines and re-purposed one to sell his cigarette-packet-sized photographs. The idea took off and Whittington now oversees 83 active Art-O-Mat machines, including our new addition to the Luce Foundation Center.

The machines are more art installations than they are vending machines, but each one is fully-functioning and sells original art for just $5. Our Art-O-Mat is a late 1950s National Consoline Vending machine that was discovered on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. Check out this Flickr set to see photos of this 60-year-old machine being transformed.

Over 400 artists from ten different countries currently participate in the Art-O-Mat project, contributing paintings, jewelry, prints, sculptures, collages, and mixed-media creations. Each work is the same size as a packet of cigarettes and comes wrapped in acetate. You see a small description of the content on the machine, but you don't know exactly what you will get until you make a choice and pull the handle. The mystery is half the fun! So, what are you waiting for? Come along to the Luce Foundation Center and start your collection today.

Posted by Georgina on July 26, 2010 in American Art Here


Georgina, this is lovely. Who would have thought former cigarette vending machines could be such nice pieces? Kind of ironic how something so bad for you can be nice to look at - kind of like a dangerous animal!

I can see my Barcode Flipbooks are in this ART-O-MAT machine. YIPPEE! I am in the Smithsonian.

I second that sentiment. I made it to the Smithsonian! I have made over 600 different wooden fish for the Art*O*Mat project and I am totally thrilled that you are hosting us, the Artists in Cellophane. Thank you.

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