Art in Advertising & Fingerprints

I had been looking for information regarding the Library of Congress ads that I had seen way back in May, wrapped around the pillars in the DC Metro, and I finally found it on their blog. Who knew they’d be so “with it!” I thought this was a clever use of art in advertising and a great advertising campaign. Evidently the Washington Post thought so too and wrote about it back in April, in which the Library received much deserved, “earned” media attention. What a bonus. I must have been out of town and missed reading that article, but the ads are still up because I bet they are still working. Many travelers notice them everyday.

What I like about the artwork is that the images are formed by fingerprints, which reminds me of one of my favorite contemporary artists, Chuck Close. I was always amazed by his FannyFingerpainting — oil on canvas — that I passed daily when I worked at the National Gallery of Art. I’d lose track of time just staring at it.

Maybe I was foreshadowing all those countless but joyful hours that were to come, following the instructions in Ed Emberly’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book with my boys. His series is great for all ages and the books are still in print on

Granted the Library of Congress images aren’t as detailed or as realistic but the concept is similar plus I love that under each ad’s image is the phrase, “At Your Fingertips.” I give great credit to good advertising.

If you follow the links above to the Library of Congress blog, it will take you to this informative video by Matt Raymond with Cheryl Regan. I had no idea the Library had gone so high tech with their exhibitions. Kudos! It’s been so long since I’ve been there, which tends to happen when you live near the Nation’s Captital and take all its wonderful, historical sights for granted. Here’s the link to the video on a previous post regarding Art in DC Federal Buildings.

The coincidental thing that started this post is that I was looking for the Library of Congress ads for the end of summer edition of my Casart eNewsletter and I finally found it, so I can post it here in greater depth as well.

Happy Labor Day weekend!