Art Not Worth Fighting For

December 2, 2010 4:02 a.m.

A right-wing push managed — within a matter of hours — to get the National Portrait Gallery in Washington (one of the Smithsonian museums) to yank a piece of video art from one of its exhibits.

Bad, right? But not surprising considering the attitude of the museum’s director toward the new Republican majority in the House:

It’s really a very tough call to make. Obviously the Portrait Gallery is a part of the Smithsonian. It’s just one of many, many players in this new discussion or debate that’s going on in Congress about federal spending, the proper federal role in culture and the arts, and so forth. We don’t think it’s in the interest, not only of the Smithsonian but of other federally supported cultural organizations, to pick fights.


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