This afternoon I got a wild tip from an anonymous source: the sculpture garden at the DMA is closed for the week, possibly because a young skateboarder decided to grind his way around the sculptures a few days ago. The suspect posted a picture of himself on Instagram using Richard Serra’s Untitled (1971) as a ramp. He hashtagged #love and #happiness. It’s unclear whether or not any damage was done to that sculpture or others, and if this is, in fact, the reason for the closure. We’ve reached out to the museum’s PR team and will update when we hear back.
I popped by the DMA a bit ago to see if I could get any intel from the staff. The first docent I encountered, who was guarding the door to the garden, told me it was closed today due to the heat. This seemed fishy, as the temperature hadn’t even broke 90. If her explanation were true, the garden would be closed all summer long. I walked down to the main entrance of the museum to ask another docent, who told me that the garden was closed through the week. She wasn’t sure why, but she thought it might be because they were “rotating pieces, or they might be fixing something.”
As I walked down Ross Avenue back to the offices of D Magazine, I heard a loud mechanical ruckus coming from the right side of the garden gate. It could have been the sound of really heavy duty lawn equipment. Or it could’ve been the sound of sculptures being salvaged. I don’t know, I couldn’t see over the fence.
Whether the sculpture garden is closed for routine (though mysteriously unannounced) maintenance, or it’s closed because some dude actually decided to skateboard on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sculpture, the lesson to be learned here is simple: Just don’t touch the art.