Seattle and Denver Museums Put Up Artwork in Superbowl Bet


Image: Courtesy Seattle Art Museum Frederic Remington, The Bronco Buster, modeled 1895; cast by 1902, bronze; 23.25 in. Denver Art Museum. / Nuxalk, Forehead Mask, ca. 1880 alder, red cedar bark, copper, pins, paint, 4.125 x 11.375 x 5.125 in. Seattle Art Museum. (via http://www.seattlemet.com/)

Image: Courtesy Seattle Art Museum Frederic Remington, The Bronco Buster. Denver Art Museum. / Nuxalk, Forehead Mask (via seattlemet.com)

Have you ever made a Superbowl wager? What did you lose if your team was not the victor? A few dollars? Pride and dignity? A valuable piece of art? No, it’s not the normal Superbowl bet, but the latter is exactly what two art museums are doing to get in on the sports-related fun.

The Denver Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum have put the loan of two “iconic” pieces on the line.

If Seattle were to win, Heinrich [director of the Denver Art Museum] said … that he will send a Frederic Remington bronze of a cowboy on a bucking bronco to Seattle for three months. Heinrich calls the small statue, which is so detailed that wind seems to be ruffling the horse’s mane and the rider’s moustache, “one of the stars of our American West collection.”

And what if the Seahawks fall? The Seattle museum had initially announced they were wagering a ceremonial Nuxalk forehead mask, but after concerns were raised about the appropriateness – “Nuxalk masks are sacred ceremonial items, not simply ‘art’ display pieces. #decolonize” read a statement on the Nuxalk Nation’s Twitter account – the museum changed the bet to instead offer Tsuji Kako’s 1901 Japanese screen Sound of Waves, which features a sea hawk.

Who do you think will win the Superbowl? Who are you rooting for? And would you be willing to wager your favourite artwork on your team?

* Via CBC.


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