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A Sad Day at the MAH

Posted by on March 7, 2012

Last week, during the afternoon on Free First Friday, someone slashed a painting in the Futzie Nutzle exhibition on the 3rd floor of the museum. As far as we know, there were no witnesses, and we don’t have any information about the person who did this. This kind of malicious vandalism has never happened at the MAH before, and we hope it will never happen again.

It’s hard to put into words the mixture of shock, sadness, and disbelief this caused without it sounding clichéd. For the museum, this is a jarring slap in the face of the social contract we’ve been building with the community over several years. For our visitors, it is a painful demonstration of what happens when someone violates the basic expectations of respect and responsibility we share. And for Nutzle, the artist, it is an indescribable loss.

Where do we go from here? Internally, we’re working with Nutzle to figure out what will happen to the damaged painting. We’re examining the ways that we keep artwork and artifacts safe. We don’t want to become the kind of museum where a guard is always looming over you. We continue to believe in the capacity of this community to be responsible, generous, and thoughtful. Our volunteers, members, visitors, staff, and collaborating artists and historians show us every day how committed they are to making this museum thrive, in good times and bad.

If you have any information related to this incident or suggestions for the future, please let us know.

  • Anonymous

    So so sorry to hear that.  I know that you guys have a new curator and she is doing an excellent job.  Maybe you guys could hire some more docents, that can keep an eye on the paintings?  Or maybe put up an add at the UCSC, so those art students could volunteer for free admission, or the possibility of putting their paintings up in exchange for being a docent.  That sounds like a great idea!