Farrow & Ball at the Met

Posted in exhibitions, opinion pages by Editor on February 9, 2012

I realize this exhibition — which I’ve not seen but have heard terrific things about — hardly falls in the eighteenth century — even a really long eighteenth century. But I’m completely intrigued by Farrow & Ball’s sponsorship and their use of the support in advertising. I received an email a few days ago, noting the precise paint colors with links to the company’s website (to be clear, I was already on their email list). In some ways this makes perfect sense to me, and the partnership is far less intrusive or annoying than other forms of support; personally, I’m quite glad to know the colors. And yet, the arrangement still somehow feels funny to me. Maybe this has been going on for years, and I’ve just never noticed (it would hardly be the first instance of that). -CH

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From Farrow & Ball:

Farrow & Ball paint colours are used around the world to adorn the walls of some of the most prestigious properties and art galleries. Visit them at:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini
December 21, 2011 to March 18, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts an exhibition celebrating the first great age of portraiture in Europe. Farrow & Ball paint colours Black Blue, Down Pipe, Studio Green, Mouse’s Back, Light Gray and Hague Blue provide a fitting backdrop to approximately 160 works, by artists including such masters as Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli and Bellini. The works of art on display range from exquisite painting and manuscript illumination to marble sculpture and bronze medals from the 15th Century.

2 Responses

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  1. Emile de Bruijn said, on February 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Yes they seem to have a kind of ‘integration’ style of marketing (there is probably a more correct marketing-world term for this!) whereby they enmesh themselves with another product or event – the recent book by Ros Byam Shaw, published by Ryland Peters and Small, was another example of this: the interiors shown in the book are all interesting and beautiful on their own account (and I bought the book for that reason), but they all use Farow and Ball paints, and the book must have been commissioned or sponsored by the company. An interesting phenomenon, and I don’t see a problem with it as long as everyone is being honest about it.

  2. Editor said, on February 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks, Emile! I’ll have a look at Ros Byam Shaw’s book. -CH

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