Index on Censorship

I was asked by the U.K.-based Index on Censorship to contribute an article about the Smithsonian Hide/Seek controversy to the Art issue they published in September (Volume 40, Issue 3, September 2011). They don’t post the entire contents of the journal on line, but kindly gave me permission to link to a pdf of it here. It’s a longish read but lays out in greater depth and with more historical background why I think G. Wayne Clough’s decision to censor his own curators was so disastrous for the Institution and for American culture. And some links to previous Hide/Seek coverage including this one from when the flap was at its most contentious and another post from New York when the curators address an audience at the New York Public Library.

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2 Comments

Filed under Art, Culture, Exhibitions, Museums, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Index on Censorship

  1. Christopher Knight

    Interesting Index story on the unfortunate Smithsonian shenanigans, and Mr. Clough’s egregious blunder. The wound still festers.

    However, I would also note that “Hide/Seek” is not in fact, “the first serious exploration of art made by or about gay and lesbian people launched in an American museum since 1982, when New York’s New Museum hosted Extended Sensibilities.” In 1995, the University Art Museum, Berkeley, presented “In a Different Light,” a large show considering the resonance of gay and lesbian experience in 20th-Century American art, and including some 200 works by more than 100 artists. It was among the best museum shows I saw that year.

    • philipkennicott

      Thanks Christopher. I missed the Berkeley exhibition, and perhaps should have added the word “major” or some other qualifier to that sentence.

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