I’ve always loved sparking my curiosity through visiting museums, from the Louvre in Paris to more intimate and offbeat museums such as Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum. From living history museums to natural history museums and, of course, art museums, I enjoy connecting with the past and the present through exploration and observation. When I saw the Museum Nerd t-shirt in the Shop@SMoCA, I was excited to showcase my support for museums and display my passion for art, history, and culture. Not to mention that the shirt reminds me of one of my favorite art museum nerds—Ferris Bueller. He was the ingenious teenage hero who skipped school and visited the Art Institute*, proving that a memorable day off is never complete without a trip to the museum.
The Shop@SMoCA provides an opportunity to level-up your museum nerd status with a SMoCA-branded T-shirt. In contemporary culture, nerds are no longer perceived as outcasts, but are celebrated as dedicated and often imaginative subject-matter experts. What better way to embrace nerdiness than the SMoCA “mnmlst” T-shirt, which combines contemporary art history knowledge and humorous wordplay? This T-shirt always provokes questions. Museum visitors and friends have asked what “mnmlst” stands for, so wearing this T-shirt allows you to engage others with a little contemporary art and SMoCA knowledge. “mnmlst” erases vowels to display a spare and compact form of the word minimalist. Minimalist art, or minimalism, developed through the late 1950s and 1960s often featured geometric forms that foregrounded material elements, simplicity, and harmony. During a visit to SMoCA, you might notice the minimalist aesthetic of the building, designed by architect Will Bruder, or view a work from the permanent collection such as Larry Bell’s Cube (1985–1986) or Kate Shepherd’s Blue and Teal Blue, Sunshine Stage (2002), currently on view in Unapologetic: All Women, All Year. Wearing the “mnmlst” T-shirt is a perfect way to remember your visit to the museum, and spark a delightfully nerdy conversation about art!
*For bonus points, you can purchase from the Shop@SMoCA a pair of pretty “choice” socks featuring Georges Suerat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886), seen in the film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 1986).