The Death of an Icon
For more than forty years a little button proudly proclaimed “I saw art today.”
If you were to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or visited the Cloisters today it would have been your last chance to take home a tin memento of art. The loss of this icon, like the once beloved New York City subway token, will be all forgotten soon enough, but for now, a tribute is due.
All over Manhattan Island this small piece of tin could be seen on people who had forgotten to take it off. Most of the ones I still own have been washed and dried. Sometimes it was people in need of a status symbol. Tourist, unaware that the color changed each day, could often be seen coming out of their hotels in the morning, fresh shirt with old button attached. I’ve even seen those buttons set off metal detectors at Kennedy Airport.
For New Yorkers, once outside of the museum it always seemed to have a "Met Museum gang members showing their colors" flavor to it. If that little button was not discarded it would often become a nice little conversation piece.
Whatever reason people might have had for not leaving the little icon in the recycle bin when exiting, I always knew that that if that button could be found somewhere in my cloths hamper or lying in a heap besides my bed, there was going to be nice colorful dreams that night. It’s all over now.