Where to start with Jacqueline Trescott’s Washington Post story about “Hide/Seek” a year on?
With the errors, I guess. Trescott describes “Hide/Seek” as being “the first ever major show about same-sex intimacy.” Uh, no. Did she see the show? Or do she and her editors think that gays and lesbians are reducible to sex? “Hide/Seek” was quite specifically not about “intimacy,” it was about the impact gay and lesbian artists have had on American art.
Next, Trescott writes: “[Smithsonian secretary G. Wayne] Clough pulled the video after powerful Republican legislators threatened to sanction the Smithsonian with budget cuts.” That’s also in error. As I chronicled here in January, Clough censored “Hide/Seek” on Nov. 30. House Republicans made their first threats regarding the Smithsonian budget on Dec 1 (and Clough told the New York Times that he had no conversations with House Republicans prior to that date).
The Post should correct its story.
Trescott’s errors dealt with, here is the major takeaway from her story: Clough [above right] told the Post that if he had to do it all over, he’d censor the exhibition again. He’d do this even though a regent and Smithsonian review board member indicated that what Clough did was wrong, that throughout the whole “Hide/Seek” mess, censoring the show was the biggest mistake the Smithsonian made.
Clearly, Clough and his deputy Richard Kurin have not learned from their mistakes — or from Clough’s public shaming. Once again: The Smithsonian cannot fully realize its mission until Clough and his cronies have vacated the Castle. They can’t leave fast enough.
- The SF Chron’s Kenneth Baker visits the new Clyfford Still Museum.
- ArtNEWS features a neat interview Wayne Thiebaud did with curator Alessia Masi about Giorgio Morandi.
- It may not have been a great year for books about art (more on that later today), but I’m particularly fond of Karen Rosenberg’s art books recommendations/ideas.
- This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features art historian and curator Debra Bricker Balken discussing her Amon Carter exhibition of the late work of confirmed watercolorist John Marin, who turned to oil painting at age 63. To stream the program, click here. To download the program, click here. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. To download or subscribe via iTunes, click here.