For once, touching the side of a bus stop is encouraged.
The Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is running a scratch-off advertisement campaign for its latest archaeological exhibit in which people can scratch the top layer of the bus ad to reveal an entirely new advertisement for the exhibit.
The Unearthing Arabia exhibit currently running at the Sackler Gallery tells the “archaeological adventures” of Wendell Phillips, who led an archaeological expedition in Arabia—-present-day Yemen—-in 1950 and 1951. (Read more about the exhibit here.)
The top layer of the advertisement, which feels much like a scratch-off lottery ticket, has a photo of a large sand dune with the title of the exhibit on it. Underneath, there are pictures of artifacts from the exhibit—-pictures that Phillips took himself. Allison Peck, spokeswoman for the Freer and Sackler Galleries, says the ads were installed Monday and will stay up for two months, though once they are scratched off, the top layers will not be replaced. There are two scratch-off ads, one at 7th and H streets NW and the other on 11th and E streets NW.
“They are the first ones in D.C.,” says Peck. “What is archaeology all about? It’s about discovery.”
In case you’re wondering: So far, no profanity or phallic objects have been scratched into the advertisement at 11th and E streets NW.
Photo by Perry Stein.-