Source: The Drum
A host of US art foundations are threatening to withdraw support from the Smithsonian after the gallery censored the video, A Fire in My Belly, from an exhibition exploring sexuality in portraiture.
In response the president of the Warhol Foundation, Joel Wachs, wrote to the Smithsonian saying that the decision to pull the controversial vid amounted to “blatant censorship”, imposed by bigots acting out of “ignorance, hatred and fear.”
The Calamus Foundation didn’t mince their words either saying that: “our trust in the Smithsonian and the National Gallery to maintain the highest standards of independence, artistic integrity and free speech has been betrayed… Your action empowers the forces of discrimination, repression and homophobia the exhibition purports to challenge.”
It is thought that The Robert Malthorpe Foundation will follow after its president. Michael Stout, said: “We think the gallery’s decision was pretty short-sighted. It gives the impression that institutions will honour whatever religious pressure is brought to bear.”
Acknowledging the threats the Smithsonian said it would stand by its decision and was confident of retaining the bulk of its funding from other arts bodies.