The Smithsonian’s board of regents gathers in Washington today for its first quarterly meeting since secretary G. Wayne Clough censored “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. In the two months since Clough’s actions, no member of the board of regents has spoken out in support of him or his censorship of “Hide/Seek.”
On the Los Angeles Times’ op-ed page, I explain why the Smithsonian cannot begin to recover from the damage inflicted by Clough until he resigns or is dismissed by the regents.
From my op-ed:
Historians and curators at our national museums must be able to examine all of our history with determination, fearlessness and fealty to the facts. Clough’s actions ensure that, instead, they will wonder which facts they can present before he will find the truth inconvenient. As long as he leads the Smithsonian, the staff can’t help but worry that their work will become politically expendable.
To restore integrity to the Smithsonian, Clough must go.