In a sad and strange turn of events this weekend,
A young museum-goer to the Denver Art Museum damaged 10 works on display in the exhibition “Stampede: Animals in Art.” on December 9th. The 18 year old man appeared to enter the exhibition with conviction and proceeded to forcefully smash and throw the artifacts before security guards were able to intervene and stop him.Witnesses and guards described his demeanor as being impaired, “off” and he reportedly punched security guards as they tried to detain him. Conservators are assessing the the total damage, but it appears that most of the pieces can be repaired, including Chinese and Mayan vessels, a mask, and headdress. The assailant was arrested and police are still investigating his motive. The damaged area of the exhibition is closed to the public until further notice.
While this isn’t the only time a vindictive visitor has lashed out on art in a museum or gallery, it’s seemingly the most benign exhibition to be attacked in centuries, and it certainly hits close to one of our homes! If there’s any takeaway here, I’d say, get out and enjoy the art around you while you can, because you never know what beautiful disaster tomorrow may bring!