Art Censorship

NCAC Urges Queens Library to Restore Canceled Photography Exhibition

By |2019-02-26T15:18:06-04:00December 20th, 2018|Letters, News|

Image courtesy of Drew Kerr The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urges Queens Library to restore an exhibition of photographs it canceled and allow it to run for three weeks as originally planned. Drew Kerr’s exhibition, Faces of The 7 Train, consists of 32 black-and-white photographs that the artist shot of passengers on the 7 train over the course of [...]

Tumblr Adult Content Ban Will Chill Free Expression Online

By |2019-02-26T15:14:48-04:00December 19th, 2018|Blog, News|

On December 17th, Tumblr permanently banned adult content from its platform. Under the new community guidelines, any image that depicts sex acts, real-life human genitalia, or (with a few exceptions) female nipples will be hidden from public view. Despite the company’s claims, the new guidelines will not create a “better, more positive” Tumblr.

Smart Tactics: Curating Difficult Content

By |2018-10-29T18:08:38-04:00October 29th, 2018|Resources|

SMART TACTICS: Curating Difficult Content examines the internal and external pressures curators must navigate when considering potentially controversial material. Combining decades of advocacy experience with extensive interviews and curatorial surveys, this volume includes both a report on what happens behind the scenes in art institutions and a handbook for confronting the challenges of curating difficult content. 

MK Asante, Leora Kahn & NYFA Chairs Named Film Contest Judges

By |2019-02-25T15:28:36-04:00April 12th, 2018|Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship continues its support of student-led protests by extending the deadline for its protest-themed film contest to May 15th. This year’s contest invites aspiring teen filmmakers to create short films on the value of protest as an instrument of social change. In the weeks leading up to the March for Our Lives and National School Walkouts [...]

Artspace Censors Nudes in Exhibition About Body Positivity

By |2019-03-07T22:30:37-04:00February 22nd, 2018|Blog|

Artspace, the self-described "non-profit real estate developer for the arts," creates affordable live-work spaces in a world where such spaces are rapidly disappearing. However, on more than one occasion, Artspace has censored works exhibited by residents on their premises. The most recent incident occurred in East Minneapolis.

NCAC Condemns Government Policy Depriving Americans of Access to Art by Guantanamo Detainees

By |2018-01-25T12:48:58-04:00November 28th, 2017|Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) vehemently objects to the violation of the public’s right to access art by Guantanamo detainees and thus fully participate in the political conversation around Guantanamo. The new directive also violates the human rights of the detainees under international norms and further destruction of the work would impermissibly suppress documents of historical importance.

NCAC Releases Statement Criticizing Walker Art Center’s Decision to Destroy Controversial Sculpture; UPDATE: Sculpture to be Ceremonially Buried

By |2019-03-07T21:44:13-04:00June 9th, 2017|Blog, Press Releases|

NCAC has issued a statement signed by several national and international organizations, opposing the Walker's decision to dismantle and destroy the controversial sculpture.

Minnesota Performing Arts Center Censors Play Over Word ‘Mulatto’ in Title; UPDATE: NCAC and DLDF Send Letter to Mayor Kautz

By |2017-06-09T10:40:12-04:00April 10th, 2017|Blog|

The play offers a perspective on the experience of growing up biracial -- or "mulatto," a dated term used to describe a person with one black and one white parent. 

Black History Month Art Exhibition Removed From School Admin. Offices; UPDATE: NCAC & ACLU Urge District to Immediately Restore Exhibit

By |2019-03-15T18:21:12-04:00February 9th, 2017|Blog|

An exhibition of artworks celebrating Black History Month was removed from display in a San Jose School district building after complaints calling the works offensive.

NCAC Responds to American University Museum’s Removal of Controversial Sculpture; UPDATE: NCAC Advises AU Museum on Strategies to Avoid Future Controversy

By |2018-02-28T11:48:13-04:00January 30th, 2017|Blog|

American University Museum in Washington D.C. flubbed its approach to a controversial sculpture after it claimed it did not want the message of the sculpture to be deemed the institution's own.

Missouri Congressman Defends Student Painting Attacked for Animal Depiction of Police; UPDATE: Without Permission, Rep. Lawmaker Removes Painting

By |2017-06-09T17:52:16-04:00January 4th, 2017|Blog|

Representative Clay has stood in support of artistic free expression in the face of criticisms that the painting contains an anti-police message.

Georgia Lawmakers Attack Museum Exhibition Exploring AIDS Epidemic

By |2019-02-25T12:33:31-04:00June 1st, 2016|Blog, NCAC at work|

David Wojnarowicz (born 1954, died 1992) Untitled (Buffalo), 1988-89. Vintage gelatin silver print, signed on verso, 28⅝x35¾; inches. Collection of Michael Sodomick, Courtesy of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York   In statements reminiscent of the culture wars of the 1990s, three Republican lawmakers in Cobb County, Georgia have attacked a museum exhibition that [...]

American Nocturne: When Public Art Engenders Controversy; UPDATE: Mural Removed, Elgin Arts Commission Will Decide Fate

By |2019-02-25T12:33:32-04:00May 26th, 2016|Blog, Incidents, Letters, NCAC at work, Updates|

NCAC has sent a letter to Elgin Mayor David Kaptain supporting the mural's return in advance of the City Council's vote on its fate on July 13th.

Penny Dreadful in Paint: Accusations of Blasphemy Hit Virginia MOCA/Hi-Fructose Exhibition

By |2019-02-25T12:33:32-04:00May 16th, 2016|Blog, Incidents, NCAC at work|

Mark Ryden: Fountain, 2003. Oil on Panel, 12x6.25 inches. ©Mark Ryden. In a replay of former New York Mayor Guiliani's attempt to grab attention by attacking "blasphemous" art, Ben Loyola, a member of the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, is directing his ire against the work of LA-based painter Mark Ryden, featured in Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of [...]

Protests After Alaska School Censors Student Art Show

By |2016-01-14T12:17:22-04:00April 17th, 2013|Blog|

"Art is a way to speak our minds!!!" one hand-drawn sign reads. "IB Art Matters!" reads another. These signs hang on the art display boards where art, done by Palmer High School's IB Art students, once hung. In response to recent censorship by the High School, students have made their voice heard in defense of their work and in support [...]

NY Art School Boxes Student Sperm Project

By |2019-03-15T18:10:43-04:00March 5th, 2013|Blog|

The recent rather heavy-handed treatment of Marc Bradley Johnson’s MFA thesis project at New York’s School of Visual Art (SVA) raises some interesting concerns—especially for an institution that aims to play a leadership role in the bio-art movement. Johnson’s project consists of a refrigerator containing 68 vials of his sperm arranged on a grid. The artist originally intended to give [...]

On the Fifth Day of Censorship, the Censors Gave to Me…A Golden Chastity Key

By |2019-03-07T23:32:27-04:00December 7th, 2012|Blog|

The Twelve Days of Censorship Years of Censorship Battles 120 Days of Sodom Egyptian Breasts Milking Nude Ladies Dancing Lords Banned for Witchcraft Bush Monkeys Swimming Nude Adults laying A golden chastity key Aristophanes‘ The Birds Catholic French outrage, a Clear Channel Dove and no art in Newark library Joy Crane's chastity belt sculpture was too risque for the "family-friendly" Brookings Art Council Annual Juried Art Exhibit in [...]

Artists Speak Out Against Cancellation of Amiri Baraka Talk at Caldwell College

By |2019-03-14T17:46:14-04:00September 13th, 2012|Blog|

The staff at The Visceglia Gallery were very much looking forward to the opening of its GET IT ON THE RECORD exhibit, a collection of works by twenty-one African-American artists investigating the "collective history of Black America." As part of the exhibit, poet Amiri Baraka had been invited to speak. That invitation was rescinded, however, because the College President and others [...]

Art, Porn and Censorship: the Mansfield Art Center (OH) Covers up Painting

By |2019-03-15T17:10:55-04:00May 24th, 2012|Blog|

A painting, included in a juried exhibition show at the Mansfield Art Center in Ohio, was partially covered with black paper. The painting had been selected for inclusion in the show, but the management of the Art Center decided that the outside edges of the work, which were covered with clippings from pornographic magazines, should not be seen by anyone. Sans [...]

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

By |2019-03-15T17:10:10-04:00April 26th, 2012|Blog|

Sweden’s minister of culture has been in the global news spotlight recently, and not for her nation's propensity for neo-noir literature. Minister Lena Adelson Liljeroth was invited to attend and speak at World Art Day at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art. The engagement took a turn for the bizarre when Liljeroth was invited by artist Makode Linde to cut into [...]

Colorado Academic Center Institutes Censorship Regime After Controversy Over Student Art Work

By |2019-03-15T17:10:10-04:00April 20th, 2012|Blog|

Until a few weeks ago, the Arts Building at the Aurari Higher Education Center in Denver featured several walls emblazoned with the kindly decree to “Post Artwork Here.” However, in light of recent controversy over the graphic work that student Estee Fox hung on one of these walls, the “authorities” (that blissfully meaningless blanket term) have rechristened these areas as [...]

Art Succeeds in Starting a Conversation, But Some Call for the Cancellation of the Project

By |2019-03-14T18:12:34-04:00March 1st, 2012|Blog|

Update: Lawrence, KS officials have banned the project, saying the proposed art installation would amount to animal cruelty. The Kansas code allows “with respect to farm animals” for “normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, including the normal and accepted practices for the slaughter of such animals for food or by-products and the careful or thrifty management of one's herd [...]

Art Censorship in 2011: Nudity, Sexuality, Religion, Politics, and… Meat?!

By |2019-03-14T17:28:44-04:00February 6th, 2012|Blog|

2012 has already brought a few cases of censored art to our attention: Microsoft Skydrive froze UK blogger Michael Ohajuru's storage account because Modigliani’s painting “Reclining Nude” violated Microsoft's Code of Conduct which prohibits images that “depict nudity of any sort”; and ?zmir Metropolitan Municipality removed three photographs (below) from the exhibition “Aykiri” (Contrary) at the Izmir Art Center in Turkey as they reportedly [...]

Guest Blog: John Davis Malloy on the Smithsonian After Hide/Seek

By |2019-03-15T17:03:46-04:00May 11th, 2011|Blog|

It’s true that the Smithsonian’s Flashpoints and Faultlines forum was too late for Hide/Seek, but keeping the issues alive months after the exhibit closed may be the right timing for the future of this public institution. It was no surprise that in his welcoming remarks Wayne Clough described himself as having no choice but to censor the artwork.  Less expected [...]

Christian Extremists Vandalize Art — Again and Again

By |2019-03-13T15:40:15-04:00April 20th, 2011|Blog|

Last October we reported about an incident at the Loveland Museum/Gallery in Colorado where a woman ripped into a lithograph after she busted the artwork’s plexiglass case with a crowbar. She did this because God told her to do it. In her explanation of the vandalism, Kathleen Folden refers to the similar destruction of Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ in Australia [...]

WEAR IT PROUD

By |2019-03-13T15:37:17-04:00March 28th, 2011|Blog|

Button brought back from the March 2011 Culture Wars symposium with the Corcoran and Transformer DC.

In Censoring Art Gainesville State College President Violates Academic Freedom

By |2019-03-15T17:03:22-04:00February 17th, 2011|Blog|

Stanley Bermudez' Heritage? (above) had been displayed for just over two weeks at the Gainesville State College Gallery before Martha Nesbitt, the President of GSC, ordered its removal. The painting, which layers images of a Klansman and a lynching upon a Confederate battle flag, drew protests spurred by a post on Southern Heritage Alerts. The Heritage Preservation Association, which has [...]