Under the heading of true words said in jest, The Onion captures some of the absurdity around our societal obsession with seeing art as something to be “held in the public trust.” Take that idea to its logical and then inver it and you have the “art jail.”
SAN FRANCISCO—City officials announced the opening of a new maximum-security art jail Tuesday, unveiling a modern detention facility designed to imprison a large population of high-profile paintings and sculptures.
The brightly lit four-story structure, located in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown, is sectioned off into 30 cell blocks, each confining nearly 1,000 pieces of art in small, sparse rooms where guards can keep a close eye on them at all times.
“Our goal was to create an institution capable of housing some of the world’s most sophisticated and renown artworks,” said art jail warden and distinguished Rembrandt scholar Dominique Paulson. “By keeping these masterpieces within our walls—whether temporarily or on a permanent basis—we hope to do a great service to our city and to society as a whole.”
City Opens New Art Jail (The Onion)