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Diedre Conkling's picture

Resolution on the Removal and Censorship of Artwork from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery

I do not know whether or not there is still work being done on the language for this resolution.  I think that GLBTRT wants to pass it in their meeting before sending it on to ALA Council.  However, I am not sure about this.

Resolution on the Removal and Censorship of Artwork from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery
 
Whereas, some elected federal officials pressured the Smithsonian Institution to remove artwork from the National Portrait Gallery in an act of censorship relating to themes of sexual orientation and religious viewpoint;
 
Whereas, some elected federal officials threatened to restrict funding of materials related to sexual orientation and religious viewpoint within their publicly funded institutes;
 
Whereas, “We celebrate and preserve our democratic society by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions and ideas” (Policy 53.9, “Libraries: An American Value”);
 
Whereas, “fair and equal representation of all the diverse expressions of life of the citizens of these United States is protected by the First Amendment and by state constitutions, and attempts to proscribe such representation in publicly funded libraries violates freedom of speech” (ALA “Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation”);
 
Whereas, "materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval" (Policy 53.1, "Library Bill of Rights");
 
Whereas, "The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation" (Policy 53.1.15, " Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation");
 
Whereas, “libraries should challenge censorship” and “cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas” (Policy 53.3-4, “Library Bill of Rights”); and
 
Whereas, the American Library Association recognizes that any abridgement to the freedom of speech in publicly funded galleries or museums also threatens libraries; now, therefore, be it
 
Resolved that the American Library Association (ALA)
 
 
1. commends the National Portrait Gallery for its inclusion of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to religious viewpoint, specifically as presented in the Hide/Seek Exhibition;
 
2. commends the National Portrait Gallery for its inclusion of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, specifically as presented in the Hide/Seek Exhibition; (ALA Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation);
 
3. condemns the censorship of the Hide/Seek Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery;
 
4. urges the Smithsonian Institution to immediately reinstate the video artwork by David Wojnarowicz to the Hide/Seek Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery;
 
5. urges the Smithsonian Institution to refuse to remove or censor other works of art from any exhibition or collection; and
 
6. urges the Smithsonian Institution to fight censorship of works of art or collections dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious viewpoint in its national galleries, museums, archives and libraries.
 
Mover: GLBTRT (official mover and seconder not available)
 
Endorsed in principle:
 
Final version, __/__/____.
 

Jim Kuhn's picture

Am sharing here an email I sent to IFC earlier this week, in case useful. With one typo alert: Ward and Katz first spoke in 1996, not 1986.

Also, for those of you in SD, you can see the 2 source versions of Fire in my belly at SD MOCA: http://www.mcasd.org/index.php. Saw it there yesterday.

- Jim.

 

F