The Agony of Hamline and Macalester

“Art need not defer to religion. If that’s no longer obvious we’ve gone astray.”

(Michelle Goldberg)

(Michelle Goldberg, “A Left-Leaning College Didn’t Want to Offend, So It Closed Down Her Art Show,” New York Times, 2-13-23)

The story of what befell the work of Iranian-American artist Taravat Talepasand at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) is as disheartening as what transpired several weeks ago at Hamline University only a short distance away. (It’s telling that The Times includes no images of Talepasand’s offending art.)

Goldberg’s art-not-deferring summation is attractive and aspirational, but it’s pie in the sky, I’m afraid. Full-throated art always tangles with something — often it’s with religiosity (faith’s evil twin). Henry Louis Gates Jr. elsewhere calls the urge to censor art “a symbolic form of vigilante policing.” There’s a lot of it about.

(c) 2023 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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4 Responses to The Agony of Hamline and Macalester

  1. Here is to full throated art!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often say – Art galleries are my cathedrals.

    Liked by 1 person

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