Michael Kimmelman's recent article in the NY Times about the Smithsonian - David Wojnarowicz controversy raised some interesting points.
- Does a director of a national museum need to cave in to the censorious demands of a few politicians in order to protect the museum's governmental funding?
- Who and what does a museum director need to be accountable to?
- Was this particular censorship, not about the artwork itself, but rather an excuse to "rekindle the culture wars?"
In an astute comparison of the US's art situation with the UK, Kimmelman wrote:
"In the United States, where no hubbub over art interests the tabloids or cable news unless it does become a federal case (or involve newly obscene auction prices), there is nonetheless the presumption that ordinary taxpayers have a right to intervene via their political representatives in curatorial affairs because museums get tax breaks."
Readers, what do you think?