Scott Wiener didn’t plan on amassing the world’s largest collection of pizza boxes. But nine years ago, he came across a stack of boxes unlike any other. Used to seeing a generic phrase paired with a simple drawing, this explosively colorful design took him by surprise. The box top presented an image of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. Even more intriguing was the side of the box, which boasted the odd claim “Limited Edition Tour of Italy Series.” Scott was intrigued.
With this new light shed on an otherwise disposable genre of art, Scott started his collection. With the launch of his company, Scott’s Pizza Tours, visits to pizzerias were a part of his daily life. Friends, family and tour guests took to his interest and helped grow the collection. Before he knew it, he had collected enough boxes to score a Guinness World Record. Scott also wrote a book called Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box (Melville House, 2013). The book and collection were featured on the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, CBS Sunday Morning, and dozens of other outlets.
Soon after, emails started flowing in from companies wanting to display the collection at their media events.
Why the hype?
Pizza boxes were designed to be thrown in the garbage. Saving and presenting them in an artistic context suddenly made them visible in a way not yet seen before. It became clear that something as simple as a pizza box resonates with people even if they aren’t into art. Interested in celebrities, athletes or politicians? There’s a box for you. As Scott says, “Right now, they’re just funny pizza boxes. In a few years, they’ll be artifacts.”