Rain Room Art Installation Becomes 'Engagement Room'

Photo courtesy of Zachary Parker
The Rain Room, an art installation at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, has been dubbed the “Engagement Room" after four men proposed to their girlfriends inside the exhibit, according to a story published this week in the New York Times.

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The best way to describe the temporary exhibit (May 12-July 28), located in a lot next to the MoMA, is as an indoor rainstorm. Visitors enter a room with water pouring down from the ceiling, motion sensors detect their presence, and the water stops wherever a person is standing. “The effect is that people feel that they can control the rain,” a rep for MoMA told Yahoo! Shine. “The exhibit is about ecology, sustainability, the environment, and mystery.” Check out some haunting Rain Room images here.

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For Scott Milam, 27, a photographer from Phoenix, Arizona, it was also the perfect place to propose to Molly Caldwell, his girlfriend of one-and-a-half years during their five-day vacation to New York City. “Molly knew I was planning to propose but she didn’t know when or how it would happen,” Milam told Yahoo! Shine. “I saw photos of the Rain Room on Instagram and knew it would be the perfect place to propose. She’s always wanted it to rain on her wedding day.”

The backstory: Years ago, when Caldwell’s sister was getting married, an impending storm threatened the big day. According to Milam, Caldwell, then 13 years old prayed, “Please don’t rain on my sister’s wedding day. Rain on mine instead.” It didn’t rain that day, but after that, Caldwell always figured it would rain on her wedding day.

At the exhibit, Milam, Caldwell and their friends waited in the sweltering heat for four long hours, talking, laughing, and playing games on their phones. All the while, Milam had a art deco garnet band tucked inside in his pocket. “I was so nervous, and just kept thinking that the line wasn’t moving fast enough,” he said. 

A few minutes after the group entered the exhibit, Milam got down on one knee, surrounded by the falling water. “I can’t make it rain on your wedding day, but I can make it rain now,” he told Caldwell.

Of course, Caldwell said yes and the pair hugged while onlookers clapped and cheered. “There were an additional 50 or so people in the viewing room looking in,” says Milam. “Afterward, we celebrated at an Italian restaurant near Central Park.”

Art has often been a backdrop for marriage proposals.  In May, a New York City man named Peter proposed to his girlfriend Betsy with the help of photographer Jordan Matter, whose photos feature dancers leaping in the middle of everyday activities. Peter asked Matter to photograph him leaping while holding a sign that read, “Will you marry me?” The image was projected on the side of a building in Matter’s show. In March, an English man named Phillip asked for his girlfriend's hand in marriage by having the question painted on the London Shoreditch Art Wall, a space typically reserved for movie advertisements. And in 2011, a man named Jim worked with an artist to create a comic strip chronicling his relationship with a woman named Julie. The story ended with a marriage proposal. Fortunately, all three women said yes.

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