Nude awakening! Brooklyn Museum shows work that was banned in D.C.

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Hey, art fans: Thank the lord that you live in Brooklyn!

The Brooklyn Museum’s newest exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” will feature a key piece of art that was censored during the show’s highly politicized stint at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery last year.

Beltway lawmakers, lobbyists, and political commentators pressured the institution to remove nude and “sacreligious” images, including artist David Wojnarowicz’s video depicting ants crawling over Jesus on a crucifix.

The Smithsonian caved in — but Brooklyn Museum officials are restoring the show’s original integrity.

Beyond that, artgoers will see more than 100 paintings, photographs, prints, videos, and installations which explore the role that sexual identity of artists and their subjects play in the making of modern and contemporary art.

The result is an array of engrossing works from groundbreaking artists from the late 19th century to the present, including Thomas Eakins, George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe.

The Brooklyn Museum has focused on portraiture before, most recently its photographic series on influential black and Latino leaders in the arts, but the range of works in this collection is perhaps the institution’s most ambitious exhibit of the year.

Don’t miss it — and don’t forget to gloat over your DC friends.

“Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” at the Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638-5000], opens on Nov. 18. Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. For info, visit

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

MetroPlus Roosevelt Savings Bank Coney Island Hospital Brookdale VillageCareMax

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: