It is nearly half a year since the Smithsonian Institution bowed to congressional pressure and ordered the removal of an exhibited artwork deemed offensive by a religious group. But the “Fire in My Belly” controversy continues to spur reflections on the tensions between government, religious conservatism and freedom of expression in the arts.
Prompted by that controversy, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has mounted a photography exhibition that looks back to the so-called culture wars of the late 1970s through the 1990s, when social conservatives fought to prevent tax money from supporting art that dealt with homosexuality, feminism, racism or other contentious issues.
Click here or on one of the images to read my review in The Washington Post.
“Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art” (through Aug. 21) is not a comprehensive overview of the culture wars. To continue reading this article...
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