A discussion of what to do with the art of morally compromised artists, how morally compromised is "too" morally compromised, whether it matter if the artist is alive and, ultimately, who decides upon these issues of what is acceptable
NCAC is offering support to Allegheny College in encouraging its student artist to re-display their work after social media controversy and to offer students support in navigating such controversies around their work.
A US-based Chinese artist was forced to remove three paintings from a show in North Carolina to avoid "offending" patrons.
New York's El Museo del Barrio recently cancelled a retrospective of the work of Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. This cancellation is the latest example of art institutions cancelling or modifying shows in response to public pressure.
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 [...]
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.
The superintendent of a Los Angeles school district has unilaterally decided to remove a mural on display on the exterior wall of RFK Community Schools’ theater after some members of the surrounding community complained that visual elements of the mural resembled the Rising Sun flag of Imperialist Japan.
Student Art Exhibition Challenged at University of Colorado Boulder; UPDATE: the University Comes to a Resolution with the Student
A student artist at CU Boulder may have been censored by his university. Investigation in progress.
NCAC urges Cleveland State University to remove the cover the University used to block from view a political text featured on a sculpture displayed on campus.
The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities has issued an amendment that sets limits on the content of their grantees' work, in clear violation of viewpoint neutrality.
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.
The University of Kentucky has unveiled a new site-specific public artwork by Philadelphia artist Karyn Olivier, commissioned in response to a heated controversy around a fresco that students said was traumatizing, creating a model for balancing conflict and tensions around campus art.
In the wake of recent controversies, the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art is providing guidance to its members by endorsing NCAC's Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy.
NCAC has joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas in a letter to the University of Kansas (KU) strongly urging it to take a stand against censorship by restoring a public artwork that the university removed last week.
Kansas Governor and Secretary of State Pressure University to Remove Artwork | UPDATE: NCAC Co-Signs Joint Letter
Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach separately pressured officials at the University of Kansas (KU) to remove an art display, threatening the free expression of the artist, curator and KU students.
NCAC is urging United States Customs and Border Protection to respect the artistic expression of deported US military veterans and the First Amendment rights of a recognized public artist. USCBP is considering destroying a mural on the border wall dividing San Diego and Tijuana, following a visit to the area by President Trump.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and ArtsEverywhere have launched an online roundtable to investigate the intersections of art, freedom and the politics of social justice.
Despite winning an award in pre-show judging, a painting by blind painter Annie Young that takes on the difficult subject of police violence against people of color proved too controversial for display by the Burnsville Visual Arts Society at the Ames Center.
The University of Southern Maine has removed three works following a complaint to the university, citing the painter's previous conviction for sexual offenses. NCAC is urging the university to restore the works.
NCAC joins PEN America and 31 other prominent arts organizations in urging the Supreme Court to strike down the third version of the Trump travel ban issued in September 2017. The case will receive a hearing in the Supreme Court on April 25.
NJ Museum Cites Unconstitutional Legal Principle in Ejecting Artist from Show/ UPDATE: Decision Reversed
The Belskie Museum of Art in northern New Jersey has ejected an invited artist from its exhibit for painting on US flags.
(Photo: Masha George/Flickr/cc) NCAC joins PEN America and 31 other prominent arts organizations to jointly file a friend of the court brief in the case of State of Hawaii v. Trump, urging the Supreme Court to strike down the third version of the Trump travel ban issued on September 27, 2017. Executive Order (EO) 13780 bans all immigration from six majority Muslim [...]
After anonymous complaints about brief images of sexual acts in an avant-garde film shown in class, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design launched a sexual harassment investigation. Saul Levine, the professor teaching the class and the target of the investigation, who is also a well-regarded avant-garde filmmaker, resigned in protest. This incident raises serious concerns beyond the individual case.
Following a censorship incident last month, artists at Artspace Jackson Flats issued an open call for submissions for a new show, CENSORED; Artists Respond, that addresses contemporary, often negative reactions to the female body, particularly the nude in art.
Early last Tuesday morning (March 6), the Kalamazoo City Commission voted 5-1 to remove Fountain of the Pioneers. The decision follows a flurry of recent protests by local activist groups, indigenous people, residents and historians. NCAC is concerned by the swiftness of this decision and cautions that such determinations should not be made in hasty emotional response to complaints.
For the latest edition of our Arts Advocacy Podcast, we talked to the bi-coastal artist and photographer Savannah Spirit. Her sun-drenched nude self portraits are repeatedly flagged and removed as ‘obscene’ or ‘inappropriate’ by Instagram and Facebook. This interview discusses her frustration with social media and its necessity to artists working today.
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.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has joined with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to express concern about the state of freedom of expression at Polk State College.
In a landmark case heard in Federal district court in Brooklyn, a judge has ruled that a New York real estate developer must pay millions in damages to a group of 21 graffiti artists to compensate for destroying their work under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA).
Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn, NY removed a work of student art last week after complaints that its message was offensive. NCAC opposes allowing a "hecker's veto" to chill this student's right to free expression.
After an artist was censored in Norfolk, VA, the public agency who shut down her show cancels all future art exhibitions.
A year into one the most divisive presidencies Americans have seen in their lifetimes, free speech is in crisis. NCAC's Director of Programs looks at the most representative issues affecting artistic freedom in the first year of the Trump administration.
During a year of marked ideological divisions, the right to free expression has been challenged by everyone from the alt-right to the far left. Our core values have been attacked by activists across the political spectrum. In this tumultuous year, we commend the allies who refuse to be silenced and continue to defend the right to free speech and its value to our society.
Sneaker Retailer Bricks Over Iconic ‘Spirit of Harlem’ Mural | UPDATE: Footaction Commits to Restoring Mural
A sneaker and apparel company has bricked over an iconic Harlem mural as they re-brand the exterior of their new store. Community members are concerned about the erasure of this tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and the the artists living and working in Harlem today and are questioning its legality.
More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the removal of a Balthus painting in response to “the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day.” The Met has refused to remove the work.
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.
Johns Sims was finally able to present his work, "Confederate Flag: A Public Hanging", after years of forced adaptation and abridgment.