The small, round stickers You get at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have long enforced a color-coded admission system. Black stickers, for instance, signify Thursday (free admission day). A silver sticker on your lapel betrays your elite museum member status. And while that color system remains in place, the museum has officially phased out stickers in favor of reusable clip-on tags.
MFAH Publicist Laine Lieberman confirmed the new policy via email:
As of August 21, the Museum has retired the adhesive admission stickers, and will be using admission tags from now on. Unlike the adhesive stickers—which caused damage to outdoor sculptures and Museum property—the new tags will be collected and reused in the future. Visitors will find green boxes labeled “RECYCLE” in the lobbies of the Law and Beck Buildings and in the Museum Visitor Center where the tags can be dropped.
Despite some minor online finger wagging about folks who deposit stickers on light poles and utility boxes and stop signs outside the museum, MFAH says the decision was internal rather than a response to complaints from the community or City of Houston officials. Considering the anti-straw moment we inhabit, reusable tags make sense. And adhesive residue probably won't fly on that shiny Cloud Column sculpture standing watch over the Brown Foundation Plaza.
Yet we're sad to say goodbye to the random acts of artistry perpetrated with the stickers. It's not uncommon to spot one stuck to a restaurant table or on the back of a stranger's cell phone. Last year, Molly Glentzer, the Chronicle's art critic, actually wrote up the evolving sticker art unfolding across the museum's plywood construction tunnel. Some clusters formed simple shapes like hands and flowers, but she also spotted "baroque-inspired 'vases'"—no doubt inspired by an afternoon wandering the galleries.
Of course, we suspect more than a few visitors will "forget" to return these new tags. Maybe they'll become an insider-y lapel ornament? Perhaps strung up as a pair of earrings?
Whatever it is, let's usher in the new era with some of the more notable sticker art unleashed across the Museum District:
After exiting the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, you must affix your #MFAH sticker to this rock, for good luck. It’s across the street, in front of the Contemporary Arts Museum, which I think is a most apropos location for #stickerrock #streetart . @mfahouston @camhouston #latergram #houstonstreetart #montrose #mfah #museumoffineartshouston #camh #contemporaryartsmuseumhouston #goodluck #superstition