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Lesson Plans

Re: Faith and Meaning in Art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Maggie White (mwhite)
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 18:26:10 -0800

AbeleSmith wrote:
> Serrano and Maplethorp were two of the controversial artists who received
> funds from the NEA several years ago. Maplethorp, who was a very talented
> photographer, received funding for his suggestive photos of males.

A few corrections need to be made. First of all, Serrano did not
directly receive NEA funds. He was awarded a prize from Southeastern
Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem (hi, Betti!), which had
received an NEA grant. The NEA never stipulated what its funds could be
used for.

Mapplethorpe also was not a recipient of NEA funds. One museum out of
the several that presented the show received NEA money to help support
the show, and there had been no controversy there. The controversy began
at the Corcoran, which had never received NEA funds to mount this
particular show. The homoerotic photos were just one part of the show;
he also displayed classic nudes and flowers.

> artists and others were the main reason for the beginning of the "downsizing"
> of the NEA. It gave the "conservatives" lots of ammunition.

Serrano and Mapplethorpe weren't the reason; the conservatives, led by
Jesse Helms and Rev. Donald Wildmon, did this, based on gross factual
errors. (Wildmon was the one who objected to a Mighty Mouse cartoon in
which MM is shown sniffing a flower; Wildmon said he was _actually_
sniffing cocaine.).