The Superbowl Turns to Impressionist Bets

Beer and football. Makes sense.

Impressionist paintings and football. What? Now I’ve got your attention.

Some may have heard this news, but there is an interesting wager being placed on priceless art surrounding the Steelers vs. the Packers.

Lynn Zelavansky and Daniel T. Keegan, the curators of Philadephia’s Carnegie Museum of Art and The Milwaukee Museum of Art, respectively, have both bet rare Impressionist paintings on the success of their hometowns’ football teams in the Superbowl.

According to the New York Times, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the Milwaukee Art Museum have agreed on this bet.

The wages…

If the Steelers win, the Carnegie Museum will receive Caillebotte’s “Boating on the Yerres” (1877) from the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Caillebotte's "Boating on the Yerres"

Caillebotte's "Boating on the Yerres" 1877

If Green Bay wins, The Milwaukee Art Museum will receive Renoir’s “Bathers with Crab” (1890s).

Renoir's "Bather with Crab" (1890s)

Renoir's "Bather with Crab" (1890s)

Time frame: temporary loan of the art piece.

This wager has received a flurry of good and bad PR for the museums. Some say it’s a stupid bet that will hurt the losing museum once their art is placed elsewhere. However, others agree that this PR stunt is going to, and is currently, bringing in tons of publicity and increased ticket sales to the respective museums.

I would argue towards the latter. Art never gets a platform this large in the news. Although using the Superbowl as a platform may be piggybacking on the event, it’s certainly working and gaining attention.

This isn’t the first time this type of wager has been made surrounding the Superbowl.

Last year, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art made a bet over a painting by Lorrain entitled “Ideal View of Tivoli” (1644).

The funny part of this whole story is this idea, and original bet, originated over Twitter.

Anyways, here’s a Packer’s rendition of “Boating on the Yerres.”

"Boating on the Yerres" Green Bay style


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