Our final installment in the Art Appreciation Series will take place tonight from 7-9 PM. Jenn Korolenko of the Forsyth Galleries will be presenting on the topic “To Trust Visitors or Not to Trust Visitors, That is the Question…”.
The class will cover the topic of art destruction, whether on accident or on purpose. Objects in museum collections are priceless and irreplaceable. Yet museums allow just about anyone to walk through their doors and enjoy the exhibitions on what amounts to an honor system. Sometimes visitors have ulterior motives and sometimes visitors can be destructive. Are we as museum professionals taking too many risks with our prized objects?
Though occasionally art is purposefully destroyed, the main offenders are people just not paying attention. In 2017, a video surfaced of a woman who toppled over, domino style, a series of plinths that were holding modernist crowns while she attempted to take a selfie. The resulting damage added up to a hefty $200,000. In 2015, a young boy in Taiwan accidentally punched a hole in a $1.5 million painting when he tripped over the protective rope. One of the most disappointing destructions of artwork happened in 2010 when a Lucian Freud piece that was transferred to an auction house in London was mistakenly grouped together with empty crates that were sent to an incinerator. The small-scale piece was valued at $100,000 but was expected to have reached a much higher price if it made it through the auction.
These comic disappointments beg the question, can we trust visitors? Jenn will walk us through if museums are taking too many risks with their irreplaceable artworks.
All SEAD After Dark classes are BYOB. We provide the snacks, venue, and facilitator, and all you have to do is grab a friend, your favorite libation, and buy a ticket. To register for a class, click HERE.