adBlockCheck

City Opens New Art Jail

Top Headlines

Recent News

Lone Superdelegate Voting For Martin O’Malley Feels Like Total Fucking Idiot

PHILADELPHIA—Sheepishly raising his hand to nominate the man who suspended his presidential campaign back in February, unpledged delegate Bob Shiefke told reporters Tuesday he felt like a “total fucking idiot” for being the only person at the Democratic National Convention voting for former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.

Man Entirely Different Misogynist Online Than In Real Life

CHATTANOOGA, TN—Explaining how his subtle belittlement and disrespect for women in face-to-face interactions had little in common with the bold, outspoken manner in which he degrades women when he’s on social media or website message boards, sources reported Tuesday that local man Colin McManus is a totally different misogynist online than in real life.

Michelle Obama: ‘Well, There Are 8 Years Of My Life I’ll Never Get Back’

PHILADELPHIA—Her face fixed in an expression of apathetic detachment as she took the stage Monday night to raucous cheers and applause, First Lady Michelle Obama reportedly began her address to the Democratic National Convention by exhaling audibly and remarking that she would never get the past eight years of her life back.

Revelations From The DNC Email Leak

Last week, WikiLeaks posted 20,000 email exchanges among DNC officials, the content of which led to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation on the eve of the convention. Here are some of the key revelations from the leak

CNN Producer On Hunt For Saddest-Looking Fuck With Convention Button Collection

PHILADELPHIA—Weaving his way through the crowd of patriotically dressed attendees excitedly milling around on the floor of the Democratic National Convention, CNN segment producer Jeff Raskin reportedly went on the hunt Monday for the most pitiful-looking fuck willing to speak on camera about their political button collection.

How The IOC Plans To Address Doping

In light of its recent decision not to bar Russian athletes from competing in Rio despite their use of performance-enhancing drugs, the International Olympic Committee is working to establish more effective protocols to keep the Games drug-free. Here are some ways the IOC plans to address doping:

360 Tour: Inside The RNC

The Onion invites you to explore our view from the floor of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

City Opens New Art Jail

An art jail guard watches over three prisoners.
An art jail guard watches over three prisoners.

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."

A prisoner in solitary confinement.

According to Paulson, the new art jail will maintain strict visiting hours between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with lights out occurring promptly afterward.

The facility will reportedly be closed to the public on Mondays.

Sources confirmed the art jail's inmates include some of the most hardened terra-cotta statues in the world, as well as numerous depraved creations from the Rococo period, many of them not having seen the light of day in years. Paulson told reporters that just before Tuesday's opening, a collection of Fauvist canvasses and four large pre-Columbian petroglyphs had been transferred to her facility.

"They keep sending us more every day," Paulson said. "It's good to rotate new pieces in now and then, but if they send us any more shards of Etruscan pottery, we're going to have a serious overcrowding problem in our Hall of the Ancients exhibit."

"It's hard to find room for new acquisitions in there, because most of that wing is occupied by high-value artifacts that will likely be here forever," Paulson added.

In addition to a video surveillance system that monitors all 48,000 square feet of the new building, art jail officials said they have installed motion-activated alarms that run through every floor and wall in order to minimize any chance of the imprisoned art getting loose.

"I run a pretty tight ship around here, and I think that makes all the difference," said Ernie Wilhelm, head of the art jail's 400-person security team. "For every piece of art that's in here, there are four or five people who'd love to get it out. As a result, everything is secured and totally locked down in its place, with the exception of a couple interactive installations and the Calder mobile hanging in the atrium."

The artworks are reportedly confined at different security levels, with particularly prominent or notorious paintings being held in rooms all by themselves, where they hang on otherwise bare walls and are kept under close scrutiny by guards.

Paulson has defended this practice of solitary confinement to reporters, arguing that it is used rarely and claiming that many works in the art jail, including most of the contemporary sculptures, are allowed to spend time in the open-air courtyard.

"If you want to maintain order, you have to put each piece in its proper place," said Paulson, explaining that inmates were strictly divided by genre, artist, and form. "The Pointillist works are with the other Pointillist works. The Monets are with the Monets. The ancient Hellenistic reliefs are a little older so they have their own area."

Most visitors to the art jail on Tuesday said they were grateful for the opportunity to see the prisoners, though some acknowledged the experience was emotionally complicated for them.

"My dad's been in places like this ever since I can remember," said Jim Rothko, standing outside the Abstract Expressionist cell block. "I always try to come by and see him from time to time, but it's hard. Deep down, though, I have to admit this is where he belongs."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close