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Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Using Extra Protection

posted by on May 29 at 13:52 PM

A young girl visiting Seattle Art Museum recently fell into and damaged the blank silver panel of Andy Warhol’s Double Elvis (1963)because she tripped over the barrier on the floor meant to protect the painting.

One of the two panels is still on the wall (the one with 1 1/2 Elvises on it), and the other is in the conservation studio, having what spokeswoman Cara Egan calls “a dent” in it repaired.

Meanwhile, the unprotected artworks at SAM are doing just fine.

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That painting survives 45 years until it comes the land of the rubes.

God damn SAM.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | May 29, 2008 1:56 PM

I've always been amazed that rare/valuable works of art are displayed almost entirely unprotected. I'm grateful for the opportunity to view them that way, but amazed all the same.

Posted by JC | May 29, 2008 2:02 PM

#1 - Not fair. I'm pretty sure this is part of the permanent collection and I even think I recall it hanging in the earlier SAM space. Actually, it amazes me that more works aren't damaged (witness the damage to the wave sculpture down by the waterfront.) Surely Seattle doesn't have a monopoly on idiots who visit museums.

Posted by Adiabatic Man | May 29, 2008 2:07 PM

Reflexive self-loathing in 3... 2... shit, it's started already!!!

Posted by Big Sven | May 29, 2008 2:08 PM

Warhol might be amused...he always wondered how long his paintings would last since silk screen isn't really a very permanent application...

Posted by michael strangeways | May 29, 2008 2:10 PM

Jubilation: #3 is right. And yes, SAM owns the piece.

Posted by Jen Graves | May 29, 2008 2:12 PM

Elvises? I'm pretty sure the plural has to be either Elvi or Elves.

Posted by elenchos | May 29, 2008 2:15 PM

A friend of mine that worked there for years told me the drunks at the private functions SAM does would trash shit pretty well. Frequently touching artworks, and one night witnessed steam from the flame-heated catering trays visibly moisten a few pieces on the wall behind them.

Posted by Dougsf | May 29, 2008 2:20 PM

I was a MoMa a few years ago, looking at the "Greatest Hits" permanent collection, A family stood before that huge Jackson Pollack drip painting they have (right next to an equally huge "Water Lilies" for contrast) and proclaimed in all seriousness "Shit, a five-year old could do that..." Meanwhile, their actual five-year old had wandered over to a nearby (unprotected) Rothko, and started rubbing his hands on it. Seriously.

So, the rubes are everywhere.

Posted by Tiktok | May 29, 2008 2:23 PM

What about the idiot who threw turpentine on the Mona Lisa at the Louvre?

The tiny piece of art is now encased in a huge plexiglass box.

It's like graffiti on ancient Roman architecture- you love and hate humanity, all at the same time.

At least the clumsy-ass beeotch didn't do it on purpose!

Posted by Shilo Urban | May 29, 2008 2:28 PM

Were the parents straight? This could be an "Every Child Deserves..." post.

Posted by monkey | May 29, 2008 2:30 PM

The point here is that the SAM created what they feared.

Karma for putting the DeKooning "Pink Lady" in storage.

Posted by max solomon | May 29, 2008 2:45 PM

Children should not be allowed out in public...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | May 29, 2008 2:49 PM

True, @1. For example, even though Picasso's "The Kiss" wasn't actually in Seattle at the time it was damaged a couple of years ago, I have it on good authority that Seattle was in fact the culprit, and NOT then-current owner Steve Wynn, as was widely reported.

In addition, I've been informed Seattle was also responsible for the holes punched in a Monet in Paris last year, the shot-gunning of a Da Vinci in London in 1987, the vitrioling of a Rembrandt in Amsterdam in 1990, and for projectile-vomiting all over a Mondrian in New York in 1996.

The sad, yet irrefutable conclusion that must be drawn from these and many, many other examples too numerous to mention is that Seattle is solely responsible for every bad thing that happens anywhere - always.

Posted by COMTE | May 29, 2008 3:04 PM

Anything bad happening to a Warhol work makes me sad and that work was actually the first Warhol piece I ever saw in person. Reading this bit of bad news actually made me gasp out loud and say, "Oh, no."

Posted by Heidi | May 29, 2008 3:07 PM

There's something to be said for a graceful velvet rope.

Posted by Fnarf | May 29, 2008 3:08 PM

@ 14~ try puke on the Ming Dynasty camels. Apparently the sorority sisters of U-dub usta have their mixers at SAM.
shameless promotion:
The Mcleod Residence is hosting a music showcase tonite of Musicians that work at museums.

Posted by orangekrush | May 29, 2008 3:21 PM

@14 Somebody projectile vomited on a Mondrian? I hope they were summarily shot.

Posted by PopTart | May 29, 2008 3:36 PM

OK, OK...I picked the wrong example upon which to base a Seattle bashing. Mea culpa.

SAM is blessed.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | May 29, 2008 4:08 PM

I agree with @5, I think Warhol would be amused, and enjoy these comments, and probably would feel bad for the kid.

Posted by homage to me | May 29, 2008 4:54 PM

I wonder if she was busy texting at the time?

Posted by Sad Comment | May 29, 2008 4:54 PM

#20 - I don't think Warhol ever felt bad for anyway. He would have enjoyed the publicity though.

Posted by Dougsf | May 29, 2008 6:32 PM

SAM is great, but they need better security.

During the 2 a.m. Roman gallery all -nighter, there were drunk douches everywhere getting too close for comfort to all the paintings.

I saw some guy pretending to slam a non-existent sledgehammer into a Jasper Johns. It would have been fine if he were standing a few feet back, but he wasnt. He was almost touching the painting.

I was a pussy about it and left.

Posted by nolaseatac | May 30, 2008 3:07 AM

I hate the idea of tons of security guards, plexiglass and all the precautionary measures at museums. Ruins the experience for me, as I'm sure it did for the lady who tripped on the security feature at SAM. By the way, the guards at the Tacoma Art Museum are some of the biggest security nazis around. Seems like everytime I'm in there as soon as I come within a foot of a work, there's some 20 year old telling me to please step back.

When my wife and I were in Italy, priceless sculptures and works of art were displayed publicly with little to no security. It was pretty refreshing.

Posted by Polar Icecap | May 30, 2008 9:55 AM

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