Met Refuses To Bow To Petition Demanding Removal Of Balthus 'Thérèse Dreaming' (1938), Suggesting Dialogue Instead

Balthus, Thérese Dreaming (1938). © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Balthus, Thérese Dreaming (1938). © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has no intention of removing a painting of a young girl by Balthus, 'Thérèse Dreaming' (1938), that has been targeted by an online petition. 

The petition, launched by New York City resident Mia Merrill, has garnered more than 8,700 signatures in five days. Headlined “Metropolitan Museum of Art: Remove Balthus’s Suggestive Painting of a Pubescent Girl, Thérèse Dreaming", the petition states that the Met should not “proudly display” an image that “romanticizes the sexualization of a child.”

In response to Merrill's accusation that the Met is, perhaps unintentionally, supporting voyeurism and the objectification of children, a spokesman for the Met called the controversy “an opportunity for a conversation” about the “continuing evolution of existing culture.”

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s mission is to ‘…collect, study, conserve, and present significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.’ Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present, and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.”

ArtNet News provides considerable insights into the background of the painting and also Balthus as an artist.

We need dialogue and conversation around all art, its meaning, but also its intention -- not censorship based on affronts. Just remember that in the Bush administration, Atty Gen John Ashcroft had a blue drape hung over the naked breast of the Capitol's Lady Liberty statue.

Personally, I find Picasso's visual chopping up of women into little frightening pieces to be more unsettling than this artwork. Will we be banning Renoir's naked ladies next?

If much of our great art has come from men's obsession with naked and nubile ladies, then let's talk about how that impacts our treatment of women. What rights is the male artist expressing? Censoring truth is not the road to freedom.

We need dialogue and conversation around all art, its meaning, but also its intention -- not censorship based on affronts. Just remember that in the Bush administration, Atty Gen John Ashcroft had a blue drape hung over the naked breast of the Capitol's Lady Liberty statue. ~ Anne

Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) Retires Under Sexual Harassment Claims, Endorses Son To Continue Political Dynasty

Representative John Conyers. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Representative John Conyers. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Michigan's John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, civil rights icon, and longest serving member of the US House of Representatives, announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring “today” amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment and a report that he paid more than $27,000 to keep an accuser quiet. 

The effective date is at once and not at the end of Conyers' term. It comes with yet another charge levied against Conyers today. Elisa Grubbs, who said that she worked for Conyers from 2001-13, claims that in addition to his inappropriate conduct with her, she saw him touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of Marion Brown, Grubbs' cousin, and other female employees working for the congressman on "multiple occasions."

“Rep. Conyers slid his hand up my skirt and rubbed my thighs while I was sitting next to him in the front row of a church,” Grubbs said. "When Rep. Conyers would inappropriately touched me like this, my eyes would pop out and I would be stunned in disbelief,” Grubbs wrote in an affidavit posted on Twitter by Brown’s attorney, Lisa Bloom.

Mr. Conyers has endorsed his son, John Conyers III to replace him. Seriously! Do the voters or other possible people wanting to run have anything to say about this House seat? 

Doug Jones Leads Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race, Says New Post-Schar Poll | Large Majority Say Jones Has Higher Morals

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I've become very involved in this race, working w/women in Alabama. My moods are swinging from positive for Jones (who I've supported since the primary) to despair over the outrageous and untrue statements said about him. This morning's poll gives me hope because the sample is much larger, and it documents that women are significantly more likely to vote for Jones. Turnout among moderate Republican women, Dems, of course, and Alabama's black community are critical.

When working on my own mindset, I remember Va a month ago, where polls showed an even race, but the actual result was huge for Dems.

The beliefs of Roy Moore are so extreme that it astounds me that he could become a US senator. Forget the sexual harassment claims. Moore is a LEADER in the personhood movement, giving ALL legal rights of a grown woman with three kids to a fertilized egg. The state would govern pregnancy, protecting the rights of the embryo.

It's all terrifying -- so terrifying that I forced myself to become educated on the rare third-trimester abortion last night. Not the statistics, which are about 1% nationally and 3 in Alabama last year, but the procedure itself.

In the new poll from Post-Schar collab at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University , 53% of voters in the larger sample of 749 likely voters, said Jones, a former federal prosecutor who prosecuted the Klan for the murder of four little girls in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing , had higher standards or personal moral conduct than Moore. In contrast, about a third of likely voters said Moore, who has cast his campaign as a "spiritual battle" with heavy religious overtones, had higher moral standards.

Among the 1 in 4 voters who said the candidates' moral conduct will be the most important factor in their vote, Jones led, 67% to 30%.

Alabama is a hugely Republican state, and Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 28 points in the presidential election. But Democrats said they were more enthusiastic about turning out for the special election. By 47% to 38%, more Democratic-leaning voters than Republican-leaning voters said it was "extremely important" to vote in the election. Democratic-leaners were also 12 points more likely to say they were following the race "very closely," and 10 points more likely to say they were "absolutely certain to vote." Read on about the details of this very thorough, data-rich portrait of the race. ~ Anne