Are you easily offended?  THEN STOP READING NOW!  I am hoping that you won’t though.  This issue is all about an old topic that is gaining renewed attention, censorship in the arts.  Our industry is one of polarizing opinions about what should be art and who should see it.  Whether you feel like all art is actually art is a personal perspective, and I wish you well on your journey to find it. The more important concept to me is keeping that decision out of the work we do, because if someone takes on the collections care role for an object, then they can not pick and choose what is worth caring for.  You must take it all into the process and preserve it with the same set of standards no matter what you believe about the legitimacy of its purpose.  Do you agree?

It can be hard to reconcile this role with what might be acquired into your institutions. Check out this edition’s articles section. for some examples that will challenge almost anyone. Scandals, controversy, and censorship are so historically prevalent in our industry you can follow them back hundreds of years.  From government sanctions to the museums that display the works, some of these condemnations can not only get heated, but they can also get litigious.  It can be hard to stay neutral in this kind of climate.

If you need help figuring out how to engage with those who question your position, check out the Resources section.  Organizations from all eras have been grappling with how to talk about and advocate for their perspective.  Check out the National Coalition Against Censorship’s Art and Culture Timeline to learn about where this fight has happened over the years.  Understanding the past can help you formulate a plan for the future.

Finally, I hope Art Pro Net adds value to your development of an opinion on integrating this into your process.  The likelihood that censorship will ever disappear is improbable, but if you study the past, make a plan, and learn to separate your personal feelings from your protocols, you can balance.  I hope this issue helps as a resource, and you will let me know where you find your support and inspiration.