Teddy Roosevelt Statue Defaced Outside Museum

Base of the Roosevelt Statue, video still
Base of the Roosevelt Statue, video still
(ABCNews7)

Activists used red paint to deface the base of a bronze Theodore Roosevelt monument at the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan early Thursday morning.

"Roosevelt was an open white supremacist and imperialist who is still lionized by the museum and the city plaza standing in front of it," read an online statement from the prostestors. The museum says the 10-foot statue is in the jurisdiction of the city.

A group called Monument Removal Brigade took accountability for the act. Their website reads:

Now the statue is bleeding. We did not make it bleed. It is bloody at its very foundation.

This is not an act of vandalism. It is a work of public art and an act of applied art criticism.

We have no intent to damage a mere statue.

The true damage lies with patriarchy, white supremacy, and settler-colonialism embodied by the statue.

It is these forms of oppression that must be damaged again and again…until they are damaged out of existence.

The statue depicts Roosevelt astride a horse, flanked by figures of a shirtless African American man and a Native American "chief."

In California, two Father Junipero Serra statues have been similarly vandalized in the last few months. One, in front of the Santa Barbara Mission, was decapitated and splattered with red paint, perhaps to symbolize the blood of indigenous peoples killed during the mission system expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries, suggests The Independent. Another Father Serra statue was vandalized in Mission Hills.

A national debate over public monuments came into focus after the violent Charlottesville, Va., rally of white nationalists and neo-Nazis in support of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The protest turned deadly for a counter-protestor and law enforcement officers in August. The Lee statue is now under a shroud and set to be removed, but its removal has been held up in court

More News Feed Headlines

To usher in the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, the National Portrait Gallery will present "Votes for Women: An American Awakening, 1840–1920," opening March 1, 2019.  Here is "The Awakening" by Henry Mayer, photomechanical print, 1915.  Cornell University – The PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography.

Virtually Browse (and Support) the 20 Museums Closed by the Government Shutdown

  • January 15, 2019 22:41

With the 19 federally-funded Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art in DC closed due ...

Read More

Still from video by Klaus Obermeyer/Rocket.film, 'Letting the light in, James Turrell, ASU partner on artwork'

James Turrell's 'Roden Crater' Project Gets $10 Million Donation from Kanye West

  • January 14, 2019 14:50

James Turrell, 75, began his Roden Crater Project in 1977. The California artist has gotten a ...

Read More

Dr Bendor Grosvenor in an episode of Britain's Lost Masterpieces (with Emma Dabiri).  (The painting shown is not the one destroyed by cat.)

Art Expert Says Cat Destroyed His Rare 17th-Century Painting

  • January 10, 2019 14:03

A cat wrecked a rare 17th-century portrait painting, according to the pet's owner, UK-based art ...

Read More

Artforum cover

Lawsuit Dismissed Against Artforum and Knight Landesman in #MeToo Case

  • January 05, 2019 13:51

A New York State Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Knight Landesman, the ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire