Susan Burns of Virginia seems to be a harsh critic of post-impressionism. In April she attacked Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women.” She screamed “This is evil!” and she tried to pull the painting from the gallery wall.
As she was pounding the painting with her fists, a social worker from the Bronx tackled her. Police arrived and Burns was immediately arrested. There was no apparent damage to the painting but we can’t help but wonder if the social worker got a try-out with the Jets.
At the time, common wisdom held that she took issue with the painting’s nudity. Afterall, she screamed “He has nudity and is bad for the children!” In the painting, both women bare naked breasts and offer fresh fruit to the viewer. That might be a little more than a Bible Belt denizen can handle.
Well, Susan Burns is back again. On August 5th, she returned to the national gallery and attacked Henri Matisse. She walked over to “The Plumed Hat” and slammed it repetitively against the wall. According to the Smoking Gun, she damaged the original 1919 frame.
The Plumed Hat contains no nudity. There’s no need to shield it from children since it contains no breasts. It certainly seems like she hates post-impressionism. Or perhaps a responding police officer hit the nail on the head. “Maybe she just hates art,” he said.