Tuesday, August 09, 2016

College Takes Down Historical Paintings Because They Might Traumatize Students

A public college in Wisconsin is moving two historic paintings out of the public eye after the school’s Diversity Leadership Team warned they could be psychologically devastating for American Indian students. Since 1936, two large murals by Cal Peters portraying early Wisconsin history have dominated the common area of Harvey Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout). One mural shows French fur traders and American Indians traveling down the Red Cedar River by canoe, while another portrays a wooden fort constructed by the French. Neither painting shows any violence at all. But now, after 80 years, the murals are abruptly being given the heave-ho after concerns were raised that the paintings are offensive. School chancellor Bob Meyer says some American Indian students have objected to what the paintings show. In addition, UW-Stout’s Diversity Leadership Team complained about the murals to Meyer, arguing their presence helped to perpetuate racial stereotypes...more

State-sponsored "teams" roaming through buildings and removing objects of art because they aren't politically correct seems awful scary to me.  Reminds me of Hitler's theory of Entartung or "degenerate" art and his purge tribunals

Hitler's rise to power on January 31, 1933, was quickly followed by actions intended to cleanse the culture of degeneracy: book burnings were organized, artists and musicians were dismissed from teaching positions, artists were forbidden to utilize any colors not apparent in nature, to the "normal eye",[95] and curators who had shown a partiality to modern art were replaced by Nazi Party members.[96] “Through the Ministry of Propaganda or the ERR, the Nazis destroyed or quarantined the culture of all the nations they invaded.”[97] "A four-man purge tribunal (Professor Ziegler, Schweitzer-Mjolnir, Count Baudissin and Wolf willrich) toured galleries and museums all over the Reich and ordered the removal of paintings, drawings and sculptures that were regarded as 'degenerate'." 

Or Stalin's enforcement of socialist realism

Socialist realism became state policy in 1934 when the First Congress of Soviet Writers met and Stalin's representative Andrei Zhdanov gave a speech strongly endorsing it as "the official style of Soviet culture".[38] It was enforced ruthlessly in all spheres of artistic endeavour. Form and content were often limited, with erotic, religious, abstract, surrealist, and expressionist art being forbidden. Formal experiments, including internal dialogue, stream of consciousness, nonsense, free-form association, and cut-up were also disallowed. This was either because they were "decadent", unintelligible to the proletariat, or counter-revolutionary.

Dictatorships of all stripes seek to control human expression through works of art, by deeming them degenerate, decadent, anti-proletariat, or in this case, politically incorrect.

HT:   Jim Hughes

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