How do you increase museum visitors and attract new audiences?

The Wits Art Museum (WAM) in Johannesburg normally gets up to 800 people affiliated with the art world to their exhibitions and secured the Bank of America’s Andy Warhol exhibition. While WAM’s collections and mission revolve primarily around African art, the museum embraced this exhibition for the unprecedented opportunity to provide access to the work of one of 20th Century Western art’s most important, ground-shifting and anti-establishment artists. Andy Warhol is best known for his images of pop culture, celebrities and everyday objects, and is arguably the person who invented fame and celebrity in the art world. We had to change access and perceptions of this international artist who held up a mirror to our lives by presenting the banal as art. His art is simultaneously silly and incredibly serious, so building popular culture, we created an App to allow people to ‘screen’ themselves as an Andy Warhol print, this spread quickly through social media. Further all the marketing materials were created in the original Warhol style of screen printing and became collectors’ items as original art. Together the marketing activities proved so successful, that WAM received over 5000 people from diverse cultures and backgrounds just in their first day.

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