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Emojis Find Their Place in Art

The set of 176 original emoji characters, which have been donated to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City are seen in an undated handout image.
Emojis Find Their Place in Art
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This is What’s Trending Today.

Did you think you could only see emojis on your mobile phone?

Well, think again.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City recently received 176 emoji icons created by a Japanese communications company.

They came as a gift from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation.

The emojis will now be displayed in the same building as works by artists like Andy Warhol, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

The graphics are only 12 pixels by 12 pixels. Some of them are in the shape of the moon, a video game controller, a cat, a car and a high-heeled shoe.

Emojis first appeared around 1999, but took a long time to catch on.

The Unicode Consortium works to make sure computer data and computer code can be understood around the world. It was only in 2010 that the organization translated the emojis into Unicode Standard, a character coding system. That means a person in France can send a message to someone in the U.S. and the emoji will look the same to both people.

Now there are almost 1,800 emojis.

Some people consider emojis a new language since some messages do not use traditional text.

Visitors will be able to see the emojis in the museum’s lobby through the end of 2016.

In a post on Twitter, one person said she “can’t wait to see this.”

Paola Antonelli is the senior curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the museum.

She said the idea of emojis goes back hundreds of years and “covers all of human history. There is nothing more modern than timeless concepts such as these.”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English based on a story by the Associated Press and Mario Ritter was the editor.

Will you go see the emojis in the Museum of Modern Art? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

emojin. a picture used to express an idea through mobile phone messaging

iconn. a small picture on a computer screen that represents a program or function

pixeln. any one of the very small dots that together form the picture on a television screen, computer monitor, etc.

translate –v. to change words from one language to another

character –n. a letter or other symbol

conceptn. an idea of what something is or how it works