A Day at the Museum


Fifth Estate # 97, January 22-February 4, 1970

“Everybody comes to you for gasoline boy, that’s some filling station you got there.”
–Jack Kerouac The Subterraneans

Hi, kids, it’s me, Artie, again. I got a story to tell you and something else too. You see, last Sunday (Nelson watches the gas station on Sunday) I was sleeping late with a pretty lady and a friend came over to my house & so did Sammy, my brother, & Sammy said what you gotta do is go to the Art Museum with me. So I said but I went there before & seen all that stuff before & it’s just a big shithouse, with old pictures by dead people & he said, no man they changed it so me and my lady got up & went after we had a hamburger cuz he would not let me get out of going.

Sammy was telling me of some of the stuff this guy does (his name is Robert Morris) who does all this stuff & I thought it would be fun because he sounded like a nut & Sammy said he even has a sculpture (I don’t know why they call it that) that is just concrete & wood and it was made by a construction company & they threw this junk away and Mr. Morris thought it was art or fun or something so he got a crane to take it over to the museum and dump it on the lawn & you can climb on it and Sammy was even going to piss on it but it was too cold out and it looks like junk but it is a lot of fun so we went in and Charley was there & Pat was with us & there were a lot of high class people there but they were fucked up & didn’t touch the stuff & there were things that were big and there were things that were small & a big wheel you could roll on the floor & we were artists too cuz we changed a bunch of things around and moved em & shit & the things that were soft that were hanging on the wall and drooping on the floor & there’s a room you can walk into & a whole room full of soft stuff that you can touch (if you want to) & throw & I threw a nickel into it & had a good time & there were some big things that look like they should be in my gas station instead of the museum & keys hanging on the wall & shit & even a piece of paper that said that the keys aren’t art any more because Mr. Morris took the art out of them. We had a good time & we went home & me & my lady fucked real nice & by the time I fell asleep I felt really sooooo fucking good.


Anyway, Tuesday nite we went back (Sammy was watching the station) & we went with my lady again (her name is Jean) & John & the Goon & Dave George & Tom who paints midgets & trees who wear hats like John wears & Kathy who is John’s lady & Jean’s friend & everybody’s friend & she’s a pretty lady too & THE MOTHER FUCKERS WOULDN’T LET US TOUCH ANYTHING & then we saw some paintings down stairs on the first floor that were for rent and for sale & that’s bad cuz when you mention art & money in the same sentence you are being obseen so we went upstairs to see the other stuff.

The wheels were stuck to the floor cuz they had wood blocks so they wouldn’t move so we went up to the guard & said that we wanted to know what we should do with the blocks so they wouldn’t get lost when we were rolling the wheel & he said that we couldn’t even touch the wheel & I showed how easy it was to touch something if you wanted but he just yelled at us so I got mad and they made us stop having fun & told us the soft stuff was just to look at & we told him it was ours cuz we paid taxes & they said yeah but you’ll mess up the soft stuff & it’s worth a lot of money so I said yeah but money aint shit & he said if that’s what you think you can give it to me so I gave him a dollar & wouldn’t take it back & he thought I was crazy but he kept it anyway.

Then Jean & me saw John & Kathy & Goon downstairs acting like statues act or don’t act so we touched em & the guard didn’t know what to do & we yelled some stuff & a lot of people were watching from the balcony & when we were done fucking off they all clapped & the guy who clapped walked over into one of the big metal things that Goon got kicked out of so we got in too & the guard didn’t know what to do & we told him we were pissed off but we ended up getting out anyway cuz he looked sad cuz he was an old guy & there was a whole bunch of us & he didn’t know what to do so we went downstairs to get something to eat in the cafeteria but it was closed.

There was rich people in there who decide what the museum is going to buy but we had as much bizness in there as they did so we just sat there while the art fuckers ate what they were eating & giving us funny looks & wearing expensive suits & smoking with cigarette holders & the mother fucking art fuckers thought they owned the whole fucking place cuz they got a lot of bread & big cars & cigarette holders & shit & they think they’re cool cuz they read books & know a lot of dead painters names but they wouldn’t know art if it came up and bit them on the ass & they couldn’t feel it anyway cuz they don’t even know how to touch people cuz their heads are all fucked up & I call them art fuckers cuz now I can finally dig art & these people got to go & fuck it all up & they piss me off so what I want you all to do is if you think like me that art belongs to everybody or it aint art then you gotta go see this exhibit & touch it & listen to & feel it cuz it feels good & even touch the things they tell you not to cuz Robert Morris made em so they’d be fun & you gotta have fun with them so do it and even the stuff they tell you not to do it to, do it, cuz it’s as young as we are & go ahead & touch it & do it * have a good time & if they try to stop you from doing anything at all, anywhere in this whole world, you just tell em it’s quite allright & if they ask you what you mean just look them straight in the eye & tell em: ARTIE SENT ME MOTHERFUCKER!!!