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Emojis Are Now A Part Of MoMA’s Permanent Collection

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Illustration Hisashi Okawa
October 26, 2016
Emojis Are Now A Part Of MoMA’s Permanent Collection

The original set of emojis are set to become a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. MoMA announced on Wednesday that it had acquired the 176-character set, originally introduced by Japanese telecom provider NTT DoCoMo in 1999.

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As The New York Times points out, the collection holds "the first pictographs to make their way into mobile communication." As of December, patrons at MoMA will be able to experience the emojis through a variety of media and visual displays.

The set acquired by the museum is something like a distant ancestor of the collection now available on iPhones today, and originally made available in 2011. Still, the adoption of these pictographs by the museum comes as part of a broader effort to acknowledge "digital objects," and signifies a more specific recognition of emojis' cultural ubiquity. Full story here, via The New York Times.

Read an essay from The FADER's Ruth Saxelby on how emojis, memes, and selfies are making us smarter and bringing us together.

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Emojis Are Now A Part Of MoMA’s Permanent Collection