This heated discussion crated quite a stir and caused debates everywhere, months after the exhibit left BYU.
I have recently had a very forceful Epiphany, a major paradigm shift, yea even a transient change of heart! See Disclaimer.
S. W D. wrote:
> My roommate is currently a graduate student at BYU and
attended the Tuesday Devotional
> where President Gordon B. Hinkley spoke. He said that the Prophet said he is not happy and
> expressed his shame and disappoint with the student protesters of the art exhibit selection.
> The Prophet pretty much scolded the protesters of BYU (of course in as nice a way as a
> prophet does).
This is confusing. President Hinkley is on record praising the U.S. Constitution. Yet it appears that it's now wrong to participate in free speech, or does this only apply to BYU students? What do you think Steve?
> Also, apparently during the protest at the Brigham Young
monument, a student wanting the
> nude art in said "I'll drop my pants right here and we'll call it art!" whereupon he started to
> undo his pants. The other protesters dissuaded him.
I was at the protest. I clearly remember the guy who said that. He acted like an ass. He was only there to disrupt the protest. He said a lot of other idiotic things like "If you want to see nudity, get married", "If you want to see nudity, rent _the Piano_", "Let's all go to LaMars", "Let's make BYU a red light district". He had a megaphone and was very annoying. He represented no one's opinion at the protest, other than his own. After being ignored, he finally left. He mentioned that he was from the ditto head club.
Except for this fellow, the protestors were very well behaved. I was proud of them.
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 18:26:35 -0700
Subject: Re: Rodin in the Universe
What seems to be confusing is that fact that people cannot tell the difference between the United States of America, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Private Property. If I decide not to display something at my house, and you are an invited guest, even a guest that has signed an agreement with me that you will live by my rules on my property, and then you turn around and try to tell me what you want, you are not a person of your word. Please go somewhere else. This is not a constitutional issue. To try to make it so, seems highly absurd to me.
Furthermore, I would just like to say that just because some person is a gifted artist and can produce magnificent work does not make that work
worthy of all acceptation, nor make it praise worthy, lovely and of good report. The majority can be wrong in this regard.
Here's a tangent. The majority were quite wrong who lived before the flood.
And unless I'm mistaken the majority will be quite wrong again before the "Saturday night bath" occurs of the millennial reign of peace, where the righteous will flee unto Zion to hopefully avoid the wrath of God that will be poured out within the next short while. And remember still that the cleansing will start within His own house first.
I am quite proud of BYU.
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 09:46:40 -0700 (MST)
From: Perry Porter <email@example.com>
Subject: BYU NewsNet
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 22:09:18 -0800
> BYU NewsNet
> Protest proves BYU has more than one
> opinion about art
> By KELLEIGH COLE and KRISTEN SONNE
> Associate Special Projects Editor and Associate Ca
> Administration Building at 11 a.m. Thursday to express their views on
> the decision of the administration and the Museum of Art to remove
> four sculptures from BYU's display of "The Hands of Rodin, a tribute
> to B. Gerald Cantor."
> Students gathered near the Brigham Young statue chanting and
> waving signs. Charles Sones, a junior from Mississippi majoring in
> secondary education, held a sign that read, "Let John Preach," in
> reference to a sculpture of John the Baptist that was pulled.
> "I think the administration needs to know the views of the students,
> especially the arts and the humanities students. They want to see
> these sculptures," said Carrie Lewis, a junior humanities major from
> Afton, Wyo. "We see them in books, we see them on slides, and if
> they are here on our campus, we want to see them in real life because
> there's a big difference between a picture and seeing the real thing."
> On the other hand, an art student and museum worker said she thinks
> the administration made the correct decision.
> "For me, I think BYU made the right decision, although I'd really like
> to see the pieces in the museum," said Mandi Mauldlin, a senior
> majoring in art from Lancester, Calif. "I also understand the
> standpoint of the museum, because it is part of BYU, which is part of
> The Church they have to make decisions that reflect the standards of
> The Church, so I can understand it that way."
> One of the organizers of the protest, Megan Jones, a senior from Las
> Vegas majoring in American Studies, said she and her husband,
> Justin Jones, a senior from Laie, Hawaii majoring in political science,
> formed the protest so students could respond to the decision.
> "What we are trying to do is let people know that there is a voice for
> students at BYU who want to see this exhibit," Megan said. "BYU
> has received national press, bad press, embarrassing press, and I
> have to go look for a job in two months and this is going to affect
> people's opinions about BYU. I want people to know that we put up
> a fight, and that's all."
> "We have multiple audiences that we have to pay attention to," said
> Academic Vice President Alan Wilkins. "I can understand how
> people would have differing opinions about what should, or should
> not be in the art museum, that's part of what art is about. There are
> different opinions about any work of art and so the kinds of criteria
> have to do with balancing community values and judging what is
> appropriate for this entire community."
> The appropriateness for the community is not definite because the
> community encompasses a university, public schools and residents.
> Wilkins said one audience was the 60,000 school children who have
> visited the museum during the past 10 months. However, Rogan
> Ferguson, a junior majoring in art from Great Falls, Mont. said there
> is a way to accommodate children and other audiences.
> "If it is not appropriate for children, we could put it into a room
> where at certain hours, that part of the exhibit would be open,"
> Ferguson said. "That way it would be open for people who
> specifically want to view those pieces without having to fear that
> school children who might be on a field trip may see those pieces."
> It is hard to say how you keep people in and out of a separate room.
> It was just an easier thing to say this is an open exhibition to all
> who would be interested and to make it that way, Wilkins said.
I was a volunteer for 9 months at the MOA, and the above is just NOT true.
> The administration removed "The Kiss" because
> that "nude males and females who are engaged in lovemaking
> represent a sacred and private kind of expression, that we do hallow
> in ways that I think the world at large doesn't see. I think it's a
> beautiful sculpture," Bartlett said.
But this is NOT a sculpture of Mormons making love. It is a tender depiction not a vulgar peep show.
You want to limit exposure to one of the few and realistic portrayals of intimacy, and leave the people in this valley with only glimpses of sex as portrayed on TB advertisements the flip the channels to avoid the absorption of evil?
> "Saint John the Baptist Preaching," a nude depiction
of the prophet
> was removed because of LDS Church principles.
> "In our reverence for prophets, the fact that we have a living prophet,
> makes it difficult for us to depict prophets naked," Bartlett said.
And our prophet has never been nude before, has he!
John the Baptist was not a typical prophet, if there is such a thing as a cookie cutter prophet, pervious to the last 80 years.
> "It is a preliminary study that was done and the
figure is nude and
> very muscular and strong," Bartlett said. "Because of the position of
> his arms and hands in front of his torso there is no exposure of the
> genital area. There is more than a subtle suggestion he is engaged in
> an act that we would not want to discuss or to present to our family."
No only the Bishop gets to do that!
Come on I saw the sculpture on the net, and if you think that was what he was doing, you need lessons Brother Bartlett!
> The fourth sculpture, "The Prodigal Son," is
a more monumental
> figure. It is of a figure clothed in robes "with the genital area that
> is unusually prominent," Bartlett said.
Based on what research?
Is this a personal comparison, or were your eyes wondering in the locker room, a little too much and a little too often?
> Alan Wilkins said the administration welcomes students
> regard to the decision.
> "In an environment of mutual respect and open dialogue, we welcome
> further comment from students and faculty on this issue. Letters
> received by The Daily Universe, the Museum of Art, and by e-mail
> will be read and considered by members of the administration,"
> according to a campus memorandum distributed at the protest.
How many times has dialog from student changed policy?
According to a higher law, it is not the students stewardship to make any decision, after all the thinking HAS been done!
> Students may also e-mail Bartlett at llbartlett@ucs.BYU.edu.
I was a docent at the Etruscan exhibit. I was bored one night and I counted the Penises or phallic symbols on the various vases and I found 56. As far as bare women with bare breasts and female genitalia etc. I counted 104 Miscellaneous Breasts, butts and other intimate body parts.
Rodin is small potatoes, when it comes to nudity shown at BYU.
Rolly And Wells: The Rest of the Story
By Paul Rolly and JoAnn
When Brigham Young University made international news by banning four works of renowned French artist Francois Auguste Rene Rodin last month, Museum of Art Director Campbell Gray said the decision was his.
Not mentioned was the fact that the agreement for BYU to host the touring Rodin exhibit was finalized nearly two years ago. Art museum experts say decisions about showing all or portions of an exhibit are normally made on the front end of the deal. So if there were concerns, they would have been resolved by early 1996.
At the time, members of the museum staff aired concerns that before they commissioned the Rodin exhibit, they should get approval from the school administration and the LDS Church.
The museum director at the time the exhibit was scheduled was James Mason, then dean of the BYU School of Fine Art, who since has retired.
Mason had reviewed all the exhibit's works and raised no concerns. Had anyone raised the issue, the objectionable works could have been withheld beforehand, making BYU censorship unnecessary.
When Mason retired, his assistant director, Virgie Day, was expected by the art community to replace him. But BYU instead hired Gray, from Australia.
When the exhibit came to BYU and preparations began for the much-anticipated show that will run until January, the museum had a special showing for its docents to help them prepare to lecture and share information with the public.
One docent was Joanna Stewart, the wife of Provo Mayor George ``No Swimming on Sunday'' Stewart. Lady Stewart became upset at the four nudes -- ``The Kiss,'' ``Saint John The Baptist Preaching,'' ``The Prodigal Son,'' and a ``Monument to Balzac'' -- and expressed her displeasure to the BYU administration. There were threats about contacting the moral crusading and politically powerful Eagle Forum.
The fear was that if the Eagle Forum protested the exhibit, 60,000 schoolchildren who attend the museum on field trips would miss all of it.
[But some say the museum director ``has no Balzac.'']
This from the Daily Universe, p. 1 for Wed. Nov. 12, 1997:
Byline: President Batemen to answer concerns about Rodin exhibit.
Abbreviated quotes: Students can voice opinions concerning the removal of four Rodin sculptures from the MOA, or any other issue, Thursday at 11 a.m. with Prez. Merrrill J. Batemen in an open question- and answer session in the Wilk Terrace. remodeled area of the Wilk
The session will follow more than two weeks of confusion that resulted in an unauthorized protest, a gossip column in the Salt Lake Tribune reporting untrue facts and closed meetings with two colleges on campus.
One reason for the confusion was that it was unclear who actually decided to remove the sculptures from the exhibit. Ultimately it was Prez. Bateman who wanted to Balzac, Kiss, John the Baptist Preaching, and Prodigal Son to be left in the basement of the MOA.
You can be sure that any decision that is made and attributed to the administration does in fact involve its senior officers, said Lee Bartlett, Assoc. Academic VP of public communications.
Bateman and his academic Vp, Alan Wilkins will surely always be involved in any deception on behalf of the University as a whole, he said.
this particular instance, which is highly representative, the Prez did in fact seek the advice and counsel of several, included a couple of art historians who could shed specific light on the issues that would be involved here, Bartlett said. ...Even though Wilkins and Bartlett said they would not change the administration decision, they said the administration has learned.
I think we made the decision just before the exhibit was to start; therefore, we probably did not give our- selves enough time to prepare a careful statement, Wilkins said. are some things we have learned to do better. I think it been very helpful--to have heard people feelings, to understand those and to help clarify that this doesn't mean we can talk about these things in class or in other settings.
I think you get surprised every once in a while. We try to learn from this, and we really trying to be open, he said.
Nudity Issue? Let's Just Grin -- And Bare It
Byline: By Robert Kirby
It's getting harder to be naked in Utah these days, especially if you want to make any money at it.
From Salt Lake City to Brigham Young University, everyone's mind is on how to keep nudity off everyone else's mind.
The Salt Lake City Council is working over a new ordinance to control sexually oriented businesses, which, as you may or may not be aware, tend to dwell on nudity.
Under the proposed Sexually Oriented Business ordinance, escorts, nude dancers, seminude dancers, and even fully clothed counter help would be subjected to a 900 percent increase in fees.
But they could still keep on doing what they're doing.
Down in Provo, where religious orthodoxy has earned the community the reputation of being the Tehran of Utah, LeMar's Nightclub is still scrapping with the city over nude dancing.
Local citizens have picketed the club, demanding the dancers get out of town and /or get to church on time.
Bad Nudes: Being naked in Utah County is not a good thing, even for statues. Or so says BYU, which recently banned four nude works of French sculptor Rodin because the sculptures might ``offend some viewers. Taking it one step further, the small town of Parahoona recently passed an ordinance making it illegal to look at yourself in a mirror while in a state of undress without first obtaining a city permit.
Cost of the permit: $15 or eight hours donated labor at the city landfill.
``We feel that this will put the kay-bosh on any kind of nekkid misbehavings around here,'' said Parahoona Mayor DeGeorge Willets.
OK, I made up that last part. As far as I know, it's still legal in Utah to look at yourself naked.
Although many Utahns still consider nudity a matter of poor taste, if not actual big-league sin, the days of getting undressed in the closet in this state are ancient history.
All this huff and puff over being in the buff is a bit misleading.
According to those making the official decisions, being naked isn't bad so long as it does not have anything to do with sex. And money. And perversion.
Some people can't tell the difference. For them, naked is naked and therefore bad. So emotionally embroiled are they in the issue that they actually keep nudity in a sweaty nervous state rather than letting it be the natural thing it is.
For example, Rodin's statue ``The Kiss,'' which shows a nude couple embracing, is so tame in its erotic message that it's really only capable of offending someone at BYU. Left to the prudes among us, women would still be wearing long dresses, and men would be getting stoked over a well-turned ankle.
Still, there is a big difference between plain old nudity and the marketing of sex. Whichever end of the argument you approach the issue from, you shouldn't confuse the two. Especially if your significant other is the jealous type.
Good Nudes: One of my favorite statues in the Springville Museum of Art is of a woman nursing a baby. Although woman and child are nude, I am not offended. I like looking at it because it makes me feel good about life.
Looking at Mother and Child is a bit different than ogling a nude dancer.
For one thing, Mother and Child don't expect tips, and they don't try to sit on my lap. Best of all, I don't get yelled at when I come home smelling of inexpensive museum.
Robert Kirby welcomes e-mail at rkirby(AT)itsnet.com.
Letter to the Editor:
Museum still has nudity
I have been following the Rodin problem closely and am wondering why everyone is making such a fuss. I think that the only reason people can be upset is that they have not actually gone to the exhibit. I am quite pleased with the exhibit. BYU has managed to delete all homo-erotic art from the museum. There is absolutely no male nudity, and I couldn't be happier. I am also overjoyed that whoever deleted the four male exhibits kept the nude female ones. There they are, if you go to the museum, plenty of naked women. I am proud to be at a university where they cut all male nudity (which is trash) but preserve female nudity (because it is artistic). So for all of you who are offended, don't worry! Go to the exhibit, see the nudity, enjoy it! It's free too.
Tuesday, Nov 4, 1997 (C) NewsNet. All rights reserved.
Oh it is all so clear now.
Boy has BYU blown it, and particularly the BYU Museum Of Art.
It seems that the only one that had been on target in all this controversy is he guy that wrote the editorial to the Universe about Nude Women.
Yesterday when I head that there were also nude women on display as part of the Rodin exhibit, at BYU. I figured I had go down, before it become correlated.
So I skulked like a pervert quickly down to the MOA by myself.
At the risk of offending, as if that would stop me, I must say I was very disappointed.
Rodin is over rated. But in all fairness from what I saw of the photo's on the Internet, his BEST work, that was contained in this exhibit, was NOT on display.
I found the exhibit to be very disappointing.
And yes there are naked women! I counted 7 women. Only one of the six were covering up their breasts. Most all of them had nipples, but only one was pronounced.
Excuse me if I am blunt here, but these are my thoughts as of now.
If any statue in that exhibit could be construed as vulgar It was the one with the pronounced nipples. It was a full body of a very old women, no distinctive facial figures, in fact I don't remember any faces per say on any of the statues. But this old, very naked lady's breasts were long and hanging down, flat, and I mean flat against her chest.
She was not the voluptuous figures of Botticelli. The nakedness was not vulgar, but the realism was.
Actually it was probably the best piece still showing.
There was a full size naked old man, but he was oddly emasculated, with only the smallest of fig leaves. Talk about your shrinkage!
One very small statue was of a hand holding a glob, that on one end was a naked man and women. According to the caption, Adam and Eve Making love. But they were embraced in such an entanglement, that her breast were showing, but only his head and shoulders were visible.
There were hands all over the place! The guy had a hand fetish. Maybe 30 or so on display. There were even 15 or so baby size hands that were suppose to be some kind of study of Rodin's.
Most of the sculpture were rough and stylized as to not mimic nature very much.
His women were muscular and the men often disproportionate. The men were short Squatty, muscular, but in an odd way. For example the largest statue had very large feet, this was not a support issue as the feet extended in relief from his robe. The calf was very large, but short and squatty. Not at all like the element proportions of Michael Angelo, which I had heard he used Male models for the females, because he was required to, or because he was a devout catholic.
Excluding the hands, I only remember 2 statues that were clothed.
This exhibit was not about nudity, but it was about MALE nudity.
BYU could not have placed the nude statues in a separate room. You would have had a small room of hands, and another large room of Nude statues.
If they only placed the four, now crated statues in a separate room, it would have been painfully obvious that it was a MALE nudity room.
The double standard of MALE nudity being obscene and objectionable while the female nudity is pleasing to the eye, would be more than most Mormons could handle. Yet that is what they are still doing, the only difference is we can not see into a sealed crate. That privilege was reserved for administrators.
What lying and deceiving bastards they are to pretend that it is about showing a prophet in an UN-saintly light.
Surely they saw preview pictures of all the art, and surely they would have had someone from the museum attend a showing in an other city.
Surely with the creation of the museum, there must have been a decency policy about accepting exhibits that contained nudity.
If the policy is, to not accept an exhibit with nudity, they are sending blind men to screen exhibits, and they a have broken the policy before and are breaking it now.
If the policy is about, no male nudity, they broke it with the Etruscan exhibit times 50.
If the policy is no male genitalia, it would have to be no 3D male genitalia, because previous exhibits has lots of 2 demential male genitalia.
Only NOW do we really know what the policy is, based on what they have actually decided to exclude.
3D women's breast are apparently not against the policy, nor are 2D male phallic symbols.
A separate room for nudity would have been made the exhibit a laughing stock.
A separate room for MALE genitalia nudity, would have made an social stigma for anyone entering the "3D MALE genitalia" room.
There were only two safe decisions.
1. Don't except the exhibit. There were only 2 life size statues that had cloths on. DAH!
2. Put ALL the statues in one room, and make no big deal of it. And if someone does, tell them to grow up or leave!
People would walk around and glance and look away, no big deal! Just like they did with the statues that were included! Plus anyone looking at any of the statues too long, could be reported to their Bishop. :)
The Kiss is, at least from photos, his best work and would have spurned more interest in his other pieces, and better attendance.
I have seen the Sistine Chapel, even in it's soot covered days, and I have seen 100's of average and above average sculptures. Even though it was draped in Catholic culture, I remember standing fixated by it's craftsmanship and realism, the first time I gazed upon Angelo's pietà.
If Rodin is a great sculpture, you would not know it by the emasculated remains that BYU is pawning off on the public.
With what they have left us to see, I would say hands down, a ho hum exhibit, as well as a PR debacle.
I have recently had a very forceful Epiphany, a major paradigm shift, yea even a transient change of heart! See Disclaimer.
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