Who says fine art has to be expensive?

Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum

Vending machines have now come to the fine art world. They are called Art-O-Mats and you can purchase art for as little as $5.


In the late 1990s, artist Clark Whittington took advantage of the ban on cigarette vending machines and re-purposed one to sell his cigarette-packet-sized photographs. The idea took off and Whittington now oversees 83 active Art-O-Mat machines, including our new addition to the Luce Foundation Center.

The machines are more art installations than they are vending machines, but each one is fully-functioning and sells original art for just $5.

Over 400 artists from ten different countries currently participate in the Art-O-Mat project, contributing paintings, jewelry, prints, sculptures, collages, and mixed-media creations. Each work is the same size as a packet of cigarettes and comes wrapped in acetate. You see a small description of the content on the machine, but you don’t know exactly what you will get until you make a choice and pull the handle. The mystery is half the fun!

The Luce Foundation Center has recently reported getting one.  Their model is a  late 1950s National Consoline Vending machine that was discovered on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee.

Seems like a fun way to get started collecting original art.


About Art Collecting and Investment

Providing news about art collectors, collections and investments. Including the how to's, the why's and the where's of art collecting. Wanda Pepin, Christina Madden and Elaine Frenett are all professional artists who keep up on the world of art, while creating amazing works of art themselves.
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