California: “Artist Upset After Long Beach Public Library Removes Doll From Art Display That It Considered Controversial”
Commissioned to create provocative art for a display at the Long Beach Public Library, Lethia Cobb said she was surprised earlier this month when a library official asked her to remove a piece because it was too controversial.
Cobb’s display, titled “Dollandia” and located on the first floor at the Main Library, features 10 handmade dolls in various settings: mermaids under water, a girl studying at a table and a couple lounging at the beach.
But the piece in question shows a white police officer, with his hand posed like a gun, standing over a lifeless and armless black male lying face down on the ground.
…while Cobb was installing the display on Jan. 2, Elizabeth Rogers, who is in charge of the art exhibits, told her to remove the black doll.
“Elizabeth came over and said, ‘We can’t have this. This is too controversial. It would offend certain segments of the public,’” Cobbs said. “She stood there until I removed the armless man.”
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.