Boys Club | Cosby-Funded Smithsonian Art Exhibit Under A Cloud As More Damning Cosby Deposition Details Revealed

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Anne is reading …

Bill Cosby’s Damaging 2005 Philadelphia Deposition

Bill Cosby, in Deposition, Said He Used Fame and Drugs to Seduce Women New York Times

With the release of Bill Cosby’s 2005 Philadelphia deposition , details about his eventually settled sexual assault case with Andrea Constand — and other young women, too — are jaw- dropping.

Simply stated, there is very little difference between Cosby’s statements in the deposition and the claims of as many as 50 women who allege that Cosby drugged them and assaulted them under the pretense of mentoring and befriending. 

Cosby — and now his wife Camille — insists that all sexual acts were consensual, that the women willingly took the drugs to relax and engaged freely in sex-related activities with him. It’s revealed in the deposition, though, that when asked if Ms. Therese Serignese, who Cosby met at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1976, was able to consent to sex when he gave her quaaludes in 1976, Cosby responded “I don’t know.” Cosby offered Serignese money for good grades.

As we reported a week ago, Bill Cosby acknowledged acquiring seven prescriptions for quaaludes which could be used to drug his targets. The 78-year-old comedian and chief moralizer about good behavior to America’s African American community admitted only to giving Benadryl to Constandin an effort to relax her.

Smithsonian Stands Firm On Cosby-Financed Exhibition

Smithsonian To Post Sign At Exhibition Featuring Bill Cosby-Owned Art NPR

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington has refused to curtail its current exhibition ‘Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue’, posting instead a sign telling visitors that the exhibition including art owned by Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, is “fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not Mr. Cosby,” representatives for the Smithsonian Institution say.

The museum acknowledges that it has received $716,000 from the Cosby family — an amount that totally funded the entire exhibition that opened in November 2014 —, and the family’s views are heavily woven into the fabric of the show’s online publicity, wrote The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones.

About two-thirds of the current exhibition’s art comes from the museum itself, and one-third from the Cosby family. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the museum, with Camille Cosby sitting as a board member, pressed forward with the Cosby connection at a time when other institutions and businesses were pulling away from Cosby as a result of the sexual assault allegations.

Noah Kupferman, an art market expert at Shapiro Auctions who has taught about the economics of fine art, said such financial arrangements are not unprecedented, but museums must be transparent about them.

“It just raises a little eyebrow that a trustee of a museum is lending (her) own collection, funding part of the exhibition and the exhibition is highlighting works … by less well-known artists whose work is considered by some to be undervalued,” he said. “Repositioning these artists’ works as suddenly important could have significant positive effect on their economic value.”

The exhibit has drawn 150,000 visitors so far, according to the Smithsonian.

Critics argue that the Smithsonian has not been transparent about the Cosby family funding of the entire cost of the exhibit ‘Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue’, choosing to not mention the financial support in publicity about the exhibition.

The new signage posted at the exhibition tells those present for the viewing:

“The National Museum of African Art is aware of the recent revelations about Bill Cosby’s behaviour. The museum in no way condones this behaviour. Our current ‘Conversations’ exhibition, which includes works of African art from our permanent collection and African American art from the collection of Camille and Bill Cosby, is fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not the owners of the collections.”

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