background image
While all elements of American life were touched by the post-September 11
chilling effect, the arts seemed particularly affected.
A few weeks after the attacks, the Baltimore Museum of Art removed a 1990
painting, entitled "Terrorist," out of respect to visitors' sensitivities. After media
coverage of the museum's decisions, BMA officials said the work would eventu-
ally be reinstalled with an accompanying statement of the artist's creative motive
for the work.
Following several complaints about art work that implied violence against the
President, the Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas, received a visit from the Secret
Service. The work in question, entitled "Empty Trellis" featured a charcoal render-
ing of President Bush at a podium encased in a series of steel trellises. The artist
stated that the work was about the U.S. government's environmental policies.
In October, New York's Newsday and several other newspapers pulled the
cartoon strip "Boondocks " because it criticized U.S. support of Osama bin Laden
during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
In December, 2001, the director of the Southeast Museum of Photography in
Daytona Beach, Florida, resigned after she claimed that she was instructed to
cancel an exhibit of Afghanistan photographs.
While these events are chilling to those concerned with free expression through
visual arts, they pale in comparison to those in the most ubiquitous form of
contemporary art: music.