Saturday, 31 August 2013

Update on quilt censorship

I thought I'd write another posting just to let you know that I've heard from Mancuso.

They will not return the quilt before the end of the planned showing.

They say they have not had a complaint, but had always planned to show the quilt in a booth right from the start. It was never planned to show it out in the open. 

" We made a decision, not due to any complaint, to have your artwork displayed in a separate booth with plenty of space for private viewing and not just behind a black curtain as described."

This had apparently been discussed with the UK organizer and agreed. Mancuso thought I'd been consulted, but no one mentioned it to me at any point. I  wouldn't have let the quilt go if that was the option.

To me it's still censorship. Mancuso says it isn't. They say....

"Perhaps other groups or exhibitions that may have juried out this work in the past took the easy road and censored your work at the point of jurying, but we decided to include it."

And finally, 

"Annabel, when Michelangelo completed The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel in 1541, it was the talk of Rome. It caused much controversy and only a few years later Pope Paul IV and the Council of Trent decided to completely paint over and create a new fresco. However, another level-headed Renaissance artist stepped in and convinced the Pope to paint in the now infamous fig leaves. This story has become a large part of art history and is still talked about more than 450 years later.

Perhaps Peter & I will remove the “fig leaves” and exhibit your artwork at the next venue out in the open."


There is nothing I can do to get my quilt back early. The hanging was agreed before sending - just not with me!  Whether or not the quilt goes back behind the curtaining, is largely up to you America.

9 comments:

  1. Sounds a bit weasel-wordy, not to mention patronising. I don't understand why an artist doesn't have the right to withdraw her work if it has been displayed under conditions not made known to her from the start and which seem designed to make it look like something sleazy (which it isn't). If not done in response to complaints, are they deliberately trying to create controversy?

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    1. Yes, you should have some kind of control, its still my property after all. Controversy certainly sells. Oh well. Thank you for commenting Christine.

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  2. How patronizing...how paternal in tone. The Mancuso Brothers sure know how to deal with us sensitive quilter types. There there, dear, even the great Michelangelo had to deal with this sort of thing. Sheesh.

    I do hope they are serious about trusting the sophistication of the American public by displaying it out in the open at the next venue. No doubt, there will be some swooning of the more uptight types that go to these things, but I'm guessing they will be in the minority. Chin up...

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    1. Yes, just a bit patronising Sheila. Ah well, The problem was someone agreeing to the arrangement without letting me know in the first place...poor show all round really. Thanks for your support as ever x

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  3. Bummer that you can't get your quilt back. I'm sure that you are going to take the UK organiser to task. What on earth do these prudish people, do if they travel to Florence? Or is it just female nudes that they object to?

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    1. I think they object to the older woman rather than just life studies in general. I think I shall just leave the uk organiser alone, and just not enter another competition under those kind of conditions.....I'll stick to exhibitions!! Thanks Maggie x

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  4. Thanks so much for the update. I'm sorry for the patronizing response you got. How frustrating!

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  5. Thanks for the update - what a patronising load of bollocks, (and I used that word purposefully). Are you sure it is the Mancuso brothers words, and not the Krays speaking from the great beyond, (the pale)?

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