Re: ALL Content Selection: censorship controversy banned

Robin Dowden (
Fri, 22 Mar 1996 11:02:57 -0600

Your request is a difficult one for us to respond to. First, even if we had
objects in the NGA collections that had been subjected to censorship, we
don't carry information in our database that would allow us to find them.
Casual polling of curatorial staff has found the following (for what it is
worth): (1) The El Greco _Laocoon_ 1946.18.1, which was included in the
first MESL distribution, was restored in 1955, removing loincloths that had
been painted by an unknown hand over the genitals of the figures at the far
right and left of the composition. The painting before conservation is
reproduced in the systematic catalogue. I don't have a digital image of the
painting "with loincloths", but if you're interested, let me know and I'll
see what I can do. (2) Manet's _The Tragic Actor_ 1959.3.1 was rejected by
the Salon of 1866. It will be included in the next distribution. (3) We do
not know of any objects in our collection that were included in the Nazi's
Degenerate Art exhibition.

At 01:00 PM 3/21/96 -0500, George Arnold wrote:
>My request is for images of objects or paintings which have been the
subject of censorship attempts by governments, individuals, or groups. I
teach a course "Censorship and Media", and would make use of the images and
their history in the course.
>George Arnold
>American University Library
Robin Dowden
National Gallery of Art