To say I was horrified during my recent visit to the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn is an understatement.
I decided to take in the Peter Max exhibit during a picture perfect fall day. As the red, yellow and brown leaves fell I strolled through the museum’s sculpture garden.
Usually I just walk to the museum on the path, but this time I walked through the garden.
One name stopped me in my tracks: Tom Otterness. The sculpture by Otterness, “Free Money,” is featured in the sculpture garden.
For those who don’t know, Otterness is a notorious dog murderer who adopted a shelter dog and then not only shot the dog in the head, but made a film (“Shot Dog Film”) of his depraved act.
Some might remember the controversy when Otterness was supposed to make a sculpture for lower Manhattan until a massive outcry prevented it.
In 2011 Battery Park City Authority’s Bill Thompson rejected the sculpture.
Ditto San Francisco, ditto Lincoln, Nebraska.
I had heard about this but was dismayed to be confronted by it in Roslyn.
Needless to say, I did not go into the museum, being unwilling to support an institution that includes the work of a known dog murderer in its collection. I could not enjoy the exhibit thinking of how hopeful the shelter dog must have been at the prospect of being adopted, only to be destroyed in a cruel, brutal and violent manner. I am writing this to make people aware so they can make an informed choice before going to the museum.
Leslie Feldman, Ph.D.