Texas man smashes works from Dallas Museum of Art

A Texas man told police he ‘got mad at his daughter’ this week and ransacked the Dallas Museum Museum of Art, forcing his way into the museum and destroying three ancient Greek vessels, a contemporary sculpture by Caddo and several showcases and other objects. Police say he had no intention of stealing any artwork, but it’s still unclear whether his “daughter” works in the arts or why he targeted the museum.

Surveillance footage shows 21-year-old suspect Brian Hernandez entering the museum on June 1 and damaging the following works of art in the museum’s collection: a 6th-century black-figure panel amphora showing battles of the Troy war ; a red-figure pyxis dating from 450 BC. depicting an Athenian domestic scene that probably served as a cosmetic or incense holder; a 6th century black-figure kylix and a distinctive Caddo ceramic statue of a torpedo-shaped alligator fish made by artist Chase Kahwinhut Earles in 2018.

Chase Kahwinhut Earles, Alligator Gar Batah Kuhuh Fish Effigy Bottle (2018). Dallas Museum of Art.

Hernandez triggered a motion sensor upon entering the museum, and police say he also called 911 to himself from inside the building. He was charged with criminal mischief greater than or equal to $300,000.

In A declarationmuseum officials wrote: “While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was injured. The safety of our staff and visitors, and the care and protection of the art in our stewardship, are our top priorities.

The museum was open to the public the day after the incident, although some permanent collection galleries remained closed while the incident was investigated.

Christopher S. Washington