Power, the Newport Beach Arts Commission, Censorship and the Full Nakedness of Adam

I recently have witnessed a most brazen and benighted abuse of official power in the censorship of artworks by the Newport Beach Arts Commission.

Rosa Williamson, an artist and resident of Orange County, was invited by the commission to exhibit more than a dozen of her works (along with those of two other artists) at the Newport Beach City Hall Gallery. She duly delivered her pieces (for) exhibit from April 5 through May 2. (Then,) on receiving an anonymous complaint and viewing a paper sticker placed over one of Ms. Williamson's paintings, the commission decided to remove several of her works from the main showroom.

The painting under review is a figure of a naked Adam, and it reminds me of another naked Adam on public view--on (the) Sistine (Chapel) ceiling, by Michelangelo. If Pope Julius II saw fit to have that Adam unchanged and unclothed, with genitalia open to view, it behooves the shaking and quaking Newport Beach Arts Commission to take a more enlightened aesthetic view and restore these works to the viewing public, and have an end to this regressive act of censorship.

BURNE HOGARTH

Los Angeles

Editor's note: Hogarth is an art teacher at the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena. "Adam" has since been returned to the City Hall Gallery, where it hangs through May 2 as originally scheduled.

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