The world’s first set of emojis have been added to the Museum of Modern Art, opening the museum’s emoji exhibition that will include new installations in December.
The set of 176 icons that were originally created for Japan’s NTT DOCOMO are the first known set of emojis to be created back in 1999, leading the pictograph-based texting language into the modern world.
“We are thrilled to announce the addition of NTT DOCOMO’s original set of 176 emoji to the MoMA collection,” announced MoMA on their blog Wednesday. “Developed under the supervision of Shigetaka Kurita and released for cell phones in 1999, these 12 x 12 pixel humble masterpieces of design planted the seeds for the explosive growth of a new visual language.”
“Today’s emoji (the current Unicode set numbers nearly 1,800) have evolved far beyond Kurita’s original 176 designs for NTT DOCOMO,” they continued. “However, the DNA for today’s set is clearly present in Kurita’s humble, pixelated, seminal emoji.”
In their announcement, MoMA also hint at a “forthcoming installation… opening in early December” that “will further elaborate on the evolution of emoji and give visitors an opportunity to see them in a new light (and no doubt inspire a few selfies).”
In 2012, MoMA announced the acquisition of 14 videogames to be exhibited at the museum alongside its collection of world-renowned paintings by Salvador Dali, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
The museum has since added even more titles, and their collection currently includes such games as Minecraft, Myst, Dwarf Fortress, Portal, Pac-Man, The Sims, and Pong.
Games on the museum’s wishlist include Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Grim Fandango.