Smashing Pumpkins: Reported Selfie Causes Museum Damages

Yayoi Kusama exhibit temporarily closes as room is rearranged

A visitor caused minor damages at the Hirshhorn after tripping over one of the pumpkins in the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, an installment that people have been lining up for hours to get into.

According to CityLab’s Kriston Capps, a man was taking a selfie when he fell in the “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” room. The 13 square-foot room holds more than 60 yellow polka-dotted glowing pumpkin sculptures.

The New York Times reported that museum spokesperson Allison Peck confirmed that the room was closed temporarily to rearrange the room without the damaged pumpkin, upon Kusama’s recommendations. They also reported that Kusama is sending a replacement pumpkin that is scheduled to arrive in a few weeks.

Kusama said pumpkins represent a source of radiant energy and are one of her favorite motifs, giving her inspiration since her childhood in her family’s seed nursery in prewar Japan, according to the Hirshhorn Museum. Kusama’s other piece, “Pumpkin,” is on display on the Hirshhorn Plaza and will remain there through the course of the exhibition. 

More than 8,000 visitors have already been through the six "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors" rooms, which opened on Feb. 23 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and will run until May 14.

The exhibit has been flying through its free timed passes, with passes for the week of March 7-13 claimed in about a minute, Peck told the DCist.

The museum also offers walk-up same-day passes at 10 a.m.

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