6,476 Visitors Saw Censored Art Here
Well it’s been a while since we closed the Museum of Censored Art. It was a whirlwind two months–one month to organize everything, and the other to actually open and run our unheated little corner of free speech.
By 7:00 PM on Sunday, February 13, exactly 6,476 people had come to see for themselves what a few homophobes with connections wanted to hide from them. Young people and older, parents with their kids, art world insiders and curious passersby, and more than a few Smithsonian employees and volunteers all got a chance to confront controversy and come to their own conclusions.
Not everyone liked the art, but they didn’t have to. They liked that we were there, and that the Museum gave them the chance to make up their own minds. Maybe one day the Smithsonian will give the public enough credit to do the same inside the Institution’s own walls.
Until then, what next? Well, we don’t quite know yet. We’ve taken some time to recover from the effort it took to set up and run the museum. We know that the Smithsonian wants to continue papering over its mistakes instead of acknowledging them.
But the damage the Smithsonian did to itself is not going away:
- The Corcoran held a day-long forum on censorship (which both Mikes participated in)
- The Museum of Modern Art makes Smithsonian censorship part of its Wojnarowicz exhibit
- The Philadelphia Museum of Art created an exhibit on controversial art in direct response to the Smithsonian
And that’s just what we know about.
We’d like to thank all of our volunteers, local businesses and community partners who did so much to make this improbable idea a reality. Most of all, we’d like to thank the inventor of toe warmers. We couldn’t have done it without you!