July 26, 2011; Source: Hyperallergic | The esteemed Boston Museum of Fine Arts has been hosting an exhibition by the famed glass artist, Dale Chihuly with one of the pieces being the 42 foot tall “Lime Green Icicle Tower” to which the museum has apparently become attached. MFA Boston is now hoping to add the Chihuly sculpture to its permanent collection. So what does the museum do to raise the more than $1 million it will cost? Last week, the MFA placed a donation box at the sculpture and instituted a system for texted donations. According to the Boston Globe, “ people can text the word TOWER to 50555, then reply to the follow-up message ‘To confirm your $10 donation to MFA Boston, reply with the word YES.’”
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This is the first time the MFA has approached visitors to fund art acquisition so it will be an interesting experiment to watch. This will be a great test case because the exhibit drew 320,000 visitors last week alone and runs through August 7. It is projected to be the fifth most-visited exhibit in the museum’s history. –Ruth McCambridge