UPDATED: A representative of the museum informed us that the nearly $800,000 estimate only applies to a stand-alone Kusama polka-dot gourd sold for that price, and cannot be equated to the pumpkins within the Infinity Room, which are not individual pieces. "The costs of replacing one of the pumpkins is negligible," the spokesperson noted, "and the site-specific nature of the installation, which allows for reconfiguration, ensures that integrity and experience of the installation as a whole remains intact while the individual element is undergoing conservation."
That said, still maybe be extra-careful when you're taking pictures.
There's little in this world that invites as much selfie-satisfaction as one of artist Yayoi Kusama's infinity rooms--mirrored boxes filled with lights that create tiny personal universes with us at the center.
But while that desire to show the world yourself surrounded by a glowing galaxy or a sea of Kusama-polka-dotted pumpkins is understandable, it can also have grave consequences. At the Hirshhorn Museum's new exhibit, "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors," a possibly-selfie-taking visitor accidentally damaged one of the pumpkins.
Per Hyperallergic, a visitor in "Infinity Mirrored Room — All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins" was allegedly attempting to get their angles just right in a self-portrait when they fell into the yellow pumpkin patch. It's understandable. Visitors to the infinite pumpkins are only allowed 30 seconds in the room, which is barely enough time to get your artfully posed selfie, your Instagram story, your Snapchat--just forget about even trying Facebook Live.
The museum closed the exhibit and acknowledged the damage, but refused to confirm it was truly a selfie-related incident. "When you go in there, you close the door, so we can't speculate on what happened," a spokesperson said.
Only the pumpkins know the truth. And they're not telling.