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Foundation threatens to cease Smithsonian funding

on Wednesday,December 15,2010 21:12

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Art museums provide culture to local communities, but they typically rely on donations to pay for operation costs. Recently, the Andy Warhol Foundation threatened to stop funding Smithsonian exhibits after officials decided to remove a piece of art from a recent show, according to the New York Times.

The piece had been under heavy criticism from the Catholic League, along with Republican Congressmen. It was taken down from the "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" exhibit, which the Warhol Foundation donated $100,000 to launch at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The president of the group, Joel Wachs, told the museum to reinstate the piece or it will cease funding.

"I regret that you have put us in this position, but there is no other course we can take," Wachs wrote in a letter, according to the news source. "For the arts to flourish, the arts must be free, and the decision to censor this important work is in stark opposition to our mission to defend freedom of expression wherever and whenever it is under attack."

Employment of artists is predicted to increase by 12 percent over the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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