With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament set to kick off in just a few days, the Georgia Museum of Art is getting in on the action with its own single-elimination tournament. Organized as part of the museum’s 75th anniversary celebrations, the art competition pits 64 works from its collection against one another to see which will emerge as the people’s favorite.
Voting starts March 13 and will run every weekday on the museum’s Instagram stories (@georgiamuseum), with an image of each work and a poll posted for 24 hours. The winner will be announced the following day in the same place. Match-ups will continue on Instagram through early July, until an Elite Eight is determined. Voting then moves to the museum, where visitors can select their favorite after walking through the galleries. The overall champion will be announced at the Friends Appreciation Month Kick-Off event on Aug. 26, an annual celebration that includes prizes, a photo booth, activities for the entire family, refreshments and much more.
The 64 works vying for the title are seeded from 1 to 16 and divided into four divisions. Museum staff did their best to represent a wide range of art from the collection: paintings, sculpture, works on paper and decorative arts like basketry, pottery, furniture, glass and silver. There are Renaissance paintings and works as new as Rebecca Rutstein’s “Shimmer,” an interactive wall sculpture inspired by microscopic marine life and created in 2018. Old favorites like Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau’s “La Confidence” have a great chance to win, but there are potential Cinderella stories in the mix as well.
“Allowing the public to choose their favorite work from our collection through this open, democratic process is very much in the spirit of our museum’s beginnings, so it feels like an appropriate and fun way to celebrate this big birthday,” said Hillary Brown, the museum’s director of communications.