policy
Artist Gwenn Seemel’s controversial painting “Hello Kitty President, Available in a White House Near You!’: has been rehung at Montclair Public Library. COURTESY SUSANNA BAKER

This week Montclair Local’s reporter Gwen Orel reported on the reinstallation of a controversial Trump painting removed from an exhibit at the Montclair Public Library due to explicit language.

The painting, Gwenn Seemel’s “Hello Sh*tty, Available in a White House Near You! (Grab Him by his Pussy.),” went back up, April 12. It had been removed from the show because of bad language within it — a judgement call made by Studio Montclair which curated the exhibit, not by library personnel.

The library issued a statement: “The Montclair Public Library does not have a policy restricting what artwork is hung in the library. We support free speech and abhor censorship. Ms. Seemel and Studio Montclair have rehung the painting at our request and it will be on display through the end of the month with the rest of the exhibition ‘Love and Fear.’ We hope it promotes thoughtful conversation and discourse.”

According to the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read statement, “It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular or considered dangerous by the majority.”

Read Montclair Local’s recent story on the painting here, then tell us what you think about library censorship. Let us know by voting in our poll below and by leaving a comment in our comment section at the bottom of the page.

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