Seattle Art Museum’s Chinese Urn Latest Victim of Convicted Killer

One of the Seattle Art Museum's 18th century Chinese urns at the Washington State Convention Center.
Photo: Andy Nystrom.Flickr.

Michael Anthony Jackson, a Seattle man with a history of mental issues who was convicted of murdering a three-year-old foster child in 1993, has damaged an 18th-century Chinese urn belonging to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). The incident took place on June 27, according to KIRO TV, when Jackson was at the Washington State Convention Center, which has a number of artworks loaned from the SAM on public display.

Seemingly unprovoked, he turned his aggression toward a small potted plant, and then on the large and riotously colorful Chinese urn, said to be worth more than $100,000. It was one of two such historic incense burners on display, each positioned on one side of a staircase in the Convention Center’s public area, though the other urn escaped unscathed.

“Suspect Jackson grabbed a small potted plant that was sitting on a low table near his chair and threw it twice, breaking the pot,” Seattle police officer Anna Green told KIRO TV. “Suspect Jackson then went up the stairs toward the main escalators for the Convention Center…Partway up these stairs, Jackson pushed over a large Chinese incense burner which was on display. The Chinese urn fell down the stairs and was damaged.”

Jackson was apprehended the following night by Convention Center security guards. He gave his address as a local homeless shelter. He had been involved in a trio of other property damage cases a year ago, on June 2, July 10, and July 28, 2013. He is now facing a charge of felony malicious mischief over the banged up urn. The artwork is currently being repaired by the SAM.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics