Email the Smithsonian!

Dear Colleagues,

The Christian Right has attacked my Hide/Seek exhibition and fearing that the whole show would be closed by Republicans in Congress, the Director tossed the fascists a bone and removed a David Wojnarowicz video. See We are effectively back in the dark days of 1989 when the Mapplethorpe exhibition was censored. This a dangerous precedent and flies in the face of everything the exhibition was structured to overturn. Once the newly ascendant right tastes blood in the water—and now thanks to the Smithsonian they have—we will all be targets. Please write to express your displeasure to Wayne Clough, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, at, to Richard Kurin the undersecretary for the arts and humanities at and to the director of the museum Martin Sullivan at

As the judge who ruled against Rudy Giuliani in the Brooklyn Museum case put it:
"There is no federal constitutional issue more grave than the effort by government officials to censor works of expression and to threaten the vitality of a major cultural institution as punishment for failing to abide by governmental demands for orthodoxy.''

Jonathan D. Katz
Director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program
University at Buffalo