The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 20, 2014


Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough Defends Decision to Remove Controversial Video
Protesters hold masks in support of artist David Wojnarowicz on the steps of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, after a video by Wojnarowicz was removed from exhibition at the museum, in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin.

By: Brett Zongker, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP).- Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough on Tuesday defended his decision to remove an artist's video that depicted ants crawling on a crucifix from an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, saying a controversy over the short clip threatened to overshadow its first major exhibition on gay themes in art history.

Critics had blasted Clough's decision as verging on artistic censorship while members of Congress and a Catholic group had complained that the video was sacrilegious.

In his first public response to questions on the issue, Clough said the controversy overshadowed the exhibition and threatened to spiral beyond control into a debate on religious desecration. He said he acted to preserve the overall exhibit, "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture."

"I still believe it was a right decision and I'm still proud that that exhibit is still up and thousands of people are coming and learning what we hoped they would learn from it," Clough told The Associated Press.

In November, the Catholic League complained that the video, "A Fire in My Belly," by the late artist David Wojnarowicz, was sacrilegious because of the crucifix clip. The artist's work explored the subject of AIDS. Wojnarowicz died of complications from the disease in 1992 at age 37.

The exhibit also includes works by major artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Thomas Eakins and Annie Leibovitz, among others. It's the largest exhibit ever staged by the Portrait Gallery.

The Smithsonian took down the video the same day complaints were made public. Even though the video was removed, Clough said he still receives e-mails complaining about the exhibit's overall theme. The show also drew praise from critics.

Clough said he had to consider the Smithsonian's long-term stability and is expecting "very difficult budget situations" with Congress in coming months because of the federal deficit. About 65 percent of the Smithsonian's budget comes from public funds.

Clough said he expects the exhibit controversy will come up during budget discussions.

Clough, who took over the Smithsonian's helm in 2008, has largely avoided controversy. His decision to remove the video, rather than stand for those calling for the exhibit's academic integrity or free speech, drew rebukes from the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Andy Warhol Foundation and other artists with works in the exhibit.

The former university president said he respects those who disagree with his decision.

"It was a difficult position for me personally because I have been a supporter of free speech everywhere I've gone, as well as gay rights, and to be perceived in some other light is a painful experience for me," he said.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Summary





Today's News

January 21, 2011

Iconic 19th Century Orientalist Painting by Jean Léon Gérôme Creates Pre-Auction Buzz

Dialogue between the Sculptors Julio González and David Smith at IVAM in Valencia

Finding Would Reveal Contact between Humans and Gomphotheres in North America

Smithsonian Chief Wayne Clough Says Banned Video by David Wojnarowicz a Work of Art

Magnificent Qing Monochrome Porcelains from the Gordon Collection at Christie's New York

Kunsthaus Bregenz Presents Exhibition by the South Korean Artist Haegue Yang

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Names Harry Philbrick as Director of Museum

The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives on View at The Morgan Library and Museum

Cyprus' Orthodox Christian Church Thanks Singer Boy George for Icon's Return

£2 Million Gift from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation Received by The National Gallery

New Salvador Dali Museum is the Centerpiece of Arts-Filled Tampa Bay Area

130 Belgian and International Exhibitors at this Year's Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair

Los Angeles County Museum of Art Appoints Curators to Chinese and Korean Art Department

Gagosian Gallery Presents a Mise-en-Scène of New Paintings by Piotr Uklański

VIP Art Fair: World's First Online Art Fair Launches Its Inaugural Edition on Saturday

Nailya Alexander Gallery Presents The Extra/Ordinary World of Pentti Sammallahti

Check Mate: Chess Sets from Around the World Exceed Estimates at Bonhams

Nicolas Krupp Contemporary Art Presents the Documentary Allegory of Peter Friedl

Museum Recovers $50K Civil War Gun Stolen in 1975

Pilar Luna, Pioneer of Mexican Underwater Archaeology, Given J.C. Harrington Award

John Beech: The State of Things on Display at Peter Blum Gallery in Chelsea

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough Defends Decision to Remove Controversial Video

The World's Greatest Toy and Train Collection Now on View for the First Time at Sotheby's

Seattle Art Museum's Picasso Exhibition Surpasses 400,000 Visitors, Breaks Record

The Famous Thames Whale Goes on Display at the Natural History Museum at Tring

New Dinosaur Hall to Create Landmark Experience at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Exhibition of Photographs by Dorothea Lange at Brigham Young University Museum of Art

Cain Schulte Starts the New Year with Exhibitions by Matthew Barney and Sandra Munzel

Rosenbach Museum & Library to Deaccession Paintings by Walter Greaves

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site