Portrait Gallery gets huge online bump
In the week where the National Portrait Gallery removed a video of David Wojnarowicz from its sprawling show on gender identity, and prompted a firestorm over artistic freedom and taste, the museum can take comfort in one good statistic.
Last Saturday the web version of "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," featuring work from John Singer Sargent to Georgia O'Keefe and Jasper Johns, received only 328 visits. On one kiosk in the physical show a brief view of a crucifix covered with ants by Wojnarowicz was called sacrilegious by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, and others, and the Portrait Gallery decided it was too much of a distraction to the overall themes of the show. As reports of the removal circulated, the online traffic soared. By Monday night the online exhibition had received 8,301 visits.
Who was it who said "there's no such thing as bad publicity?" Oscar Wilde, P.T. Barnum, one of those wise guys.
• Video: Post critic debates Smithsonian censorship on CNN
• Gallery shows Wojnarowicz video | VIDEO
• Reaction to ants-and-crucifix controversy | VIDEO
• Q&A: Catholic League president William Donohue
• Ant-covered Jesus video removed after complaints
• Gopnik: National Portrait Gallery bows to censors
• Going Out Gurus: 'Hide/Seek': Go see it for yourself
• Video: A clip from the ant-covered Jesus work
| December 2, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
Categories: Jacqueline Trescott, Museums | Tags: David Wojnarowicz, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, Smithsonian Institution, national portrait gallery
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