Art and Barbecue at Stake in Museums’ Super Bowl Bet

Cheesesteaks are also in play

Philadelphia Art Museum
Even art museums get into the Super Bowl spirit.
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

For the last decade or so, art museums based in the cities whose teams are competing in that year’s Super Bowl have developed an interesting tradition. This tradition generally involved in the museum based in the losing team’s city loaning a work of art to the museum based in the winning team’s city. Surprising no one, this year art museums in Philadelphia and Kansas City are getting in on the action.

As reported by ARTnews, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art have a high-stakes wager on the outcome of the Super Bowl. As the latter explained in a press release, the winning city’s museum will host the losing city’s museum when they arrive, artwork in tow.

You will not be shocked to learn that each city’s most iconic food will also play a part in this bet. Should the Kansas City delegation travel to Philadelphia, they’ll dine on cheese steaks while there. If Philadelphia’s contingent takes art to Kansas City, they’ll at least have some barbecue to snack on while they’re there.

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“When the Eagles soar to victory, we will warmly greet our friends from the Nelson-Atkins and treat them to unforgettable cheesesteaks here in Philadelphia,” said Sasha Suda, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s CEO, in a statement. “They have such a remarkable collection, and we will be thrilled to share a piece of it with our visitors, in a very special Point After Touchdown (PAT).”

Suda’s counterpart at the Nelson-Atkins, Julián Zugazagoitia, was resolute, however. “We expect to offer our Philadelphia friends something they’ll long remember after the Chiefs make short work of the Eagles,” Zugazagoitia said. “Philadelphia’s museum has so many amazing works, and they will see how wonderful the PMA loan will appear in our beautiful galleries. We won’t let them leave, of course, before they can taste the best of our Kansas City barbeque.”

Turns out art museums’ directors can banter with the best of them. As for which work of art will be going where, we’ll know more when the Super Bowl is over.

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