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Reynolda’s Centennial Marketing Campaign Wins Top Award in the Southeast, Inspires Tattoos

The Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) has awarded Reynolda House Museum of American Art the Gold Medal for the museum’s marketing campaign created for Reynolda’s centennial – and seven people have commissioned tattoos of the design at the center of the campaign.

Reynolda House debuted the centennial logo in July 2017 to kick off its centennial-year celebrations. The designs reflected colors found throughout the inside and outside of the estate, Art Nouveau-style typography found in the original house blueprints, and a line drawing of female hand and a rose, symbols of the three generations of women who have stewarded Reynolda’s legacy as a gift to the community. The designs appeared in an array of materials created for the milestone: banners, magnets, decals, embossers, stickers, invitations, T-shirts, advertisements and brochures.

The marketing team then made a surprising and unusual offer to the public: the museum would offer free admission for the next 100 years to anyone willing to get a tattoo of the unique hand-and-rose design.

“Really, the decision was pretty simple,” said Chad Campbell, who, along with his partner Lauren Hayworth were the first to get the tattoos. “I saw the museum’s Instagram post, I told her about it and she was game, so we went pretty much the next day and got them.”

Greg Felts and Jim Steele have the Reynolda tattoos on their arms. “I’ve always loved Reynolda House, even growing up,” Felts said. “We’re both planning on our ghosts living here later, since we have a hundred year access.”

Maya Menon chose to get the design on her upper arm to commemorate her time in Winston-Salem as a student at Wake Forest University. An exhibition the museum hosted in 2016 altered the course of her academic career.

“Reynolda House has done a lot for me,” she said. “I was never into art very much, it wasn’t my thing, and I saw the Ansel Adams photography exhibit, and I’m now an art major. So this was something that was really important to me. People care about it so much in Winston-Salem that I thought it would be the perfect Winston tattoo.”

In total, seven local residents took Reynolda up on its offer of 100 years of free admission for getting the tattoo, and the museum gave each person an engraved commemorative key to the museum. The museum also shared videos that told the story of each person on YouTube and Facebook. 

The centennial design was created by Winston-Salem-based agency Device Creative Collaborative. The agency worked closely with Reynolda in developing the design of the campaign materials, relying on interviews, research, and archival documents to create the centennial look.

“We thought that we had created something special to mark this important moment in our history, and seeing the response that the design triggered in people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as the recognition by our peers in the museum field, confirmed that,” said Sarah Smith, director of external relations at Reynolda House. “I think for some, just the fact that Reynolda was doing something so unexpected was refreshing. The centennial campaign signaled the start of a new era at Reynolda.”

The Gold Medal award for the campaign will be given at the SEMC annual event in Jackson, Miss. in October. Reynolda earned first place out of 14 submissions in the category. SEMC encompasses museums in a 12-state region and includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About Reynolda
Reynolda, in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a rare gem among the nation’s cultural institutions and historic greenspaces. The 50-year-old museum at the center of Reynolda’s 180 acres, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, presents a renowned art collection in a historic and incomparable setting: the original 1917 interiors of the country manor of R. J. Reynolds. Spanning 250 years, the collection is an uncompromisingly selective one, a chronology of American art, with each artist represented by one work of major significance. Highlights are: Albert Bierstadt, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Edwin Church, Stuart Davis, Martin Johnson Heade, Alex Katz, Lee Krasner, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent and Grant Wood. The collection was assembled by the unerring eye of Barbara Babcock Millhouse, granddaughter of R. J. and Katharine Reynolds. The Reynolda experience includes a free app called Reynolda Revealed; touring exhibitions in the museum’s Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing; formal gardens, conservatory and walking trails of Reynolda Gardens; and more than 25 of the estate’s original buildings repurposed as shops and restaurants in Reynolda Village. Reynolda, located at 2250 Reynolda Road, is adjacent to Wake Forest University. For more information, please visit reynolda.org. Connect at facebook.com/rhmaa and @CurateReynolda.

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Images
Reynolda centennial sticker
Greg Felts and Jim Steele Centennial Tattoo
Lauren Hayworth Centennial Tattoo
Maya Menon Centennial Tattoo