This post updates a December 6, 2012 item titled, “New Jersey: Censorship in the Library?”
The painting that caused such a ruckus at the Newark Public Library is uncovered again, viewable by all, and the controversy around it gone.
You may remember a column last month about several staff members up in arms because they didn’t think the art was appropriate. They made such a fuss that it was covered up a day after being hung in the second-floor reference room.
Library director Wilma Grey didn’t think displaying the drawing was a problem, but she covered it with fabric after people complained — so all could take a breath and think this over. Walker wasn’t happy about doing it, neither was Scott London, a longtime art collector who loaned the piece to the library.
“The library should be a safe harbor for controversies of all types, and those controversies can be dealt with in the context of what is known about art, about literature, democracy and freedom,” said Clement A. Price, a library trustee and Rutgers history professor. “There’s no better venue in Newark where such a powerful and potential controversial drawing should be mounted.”
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