More budget woes kill 2012 show at Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Museum’s budget ax falls again.

Less than a week after announcing it was pulling back on its Friday night hours, the Prospect Heights institution quietly revealed that it is cancelling a major spring 2012 exhibition, “Art in the Streets,” a controversial show that chronicles the history of graffiti and street art.

“The cancellation became necessary due to the current financial climate,” said Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold Lehman in a statement released on Tuesday, one that echoed last week’s lament about the reduction in hours. “As with most arts organizations throughout the country, we have had to make several difficult choices since the beginning of the economic downturn three years ago.”

The show is currently on exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles through Aug. 8. It has come under fire for glorifying vandalism — and months before it was set to open on March 30, 2012 in Brooklyn, Councilman Peter Vallone (D–Queens) had called for the Museum to scrub it because public money “should not be used to encourage the destruction of taxpayers’ property.”

Lehman did not address that concern in his statement, saying only that the cancelation was due to the economy, not the controversial nature of the show.

The cancellation and the shrinking hours of operation come as the museum scrambles to attract — and keep — members as city budget priorities shift away from the arts. It also comes after the museum announced a bevy of “emergency measures,” including raising suggested fees from $8 to $10 on Saturdays, cutting staff and then offering wall space to the winner of Sarah Jessica Parker’s reality TV show, “Work of Art: The Next Great” — which surprised some museum-lovers.

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ace from New Utrecht says:
Graffiti is vandalism and should not be glorified nor promoted nor encouraged.

I remember the last time they did this and claimed they were not promoting graffiti yet on their website they were encouraging folks to post photos of graffiti.

My wish is that every member of their board arrives home one evening to find the front of their home covered in graffiti. Not as much fun when encountered unwillingly and uninvited.
June 22, 2011, 11:59 am
rich rich from parkslope says:
graffiti writing is dangerous. it provokes gang related problems
June 22, 2011, 1:57 pm
K. from ArKady says:
I guess the major drug cartels are losing streetcorner distributers, and thus can't foot the bill for the show? I mean, does anyone do this kind of art work anymore? It's so 80's.
June 22, 2011, 2:47 pm
Nick from Brooklyn Heights says:
The powers that be probably realized that anyone who would be even slightly interested in this exhibit wouldn't go to a museum. Or are unable to go due to an unfortunate incarceration. Know your audience.
June 22, 2011, 3:29 pm

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