Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oakland museum had agreed to show fake "Gaza kids art" anyway

Two weeks ago I reported the controversy at an Oakland children's museum where an art exhibit that was allegedly made by Gaza children was dropped after complaints. The anti-Israel (and pro-terror) activists who were behind the show vowed to show the drawings anyway outside the museum.

As I noted, a number of art experts (also see the comments) flatly said that there was no way that some of these drawings were made by children. Moreover, I noted that it is strange that the names of the alleged artists were not mentioned, nor were these pictures signed - something every child does with drawings they make.

As far as I know, no one from the museum has established the provenance of the artwork, as any museum would be expected to do with any art.

It now appears that the museum tried to cave to the anti-Israel activists.

From NPR:

The chair of the MOCHA Board of Directors, Hilman Sorey, did issue a statement saying: Parents, caregivers and educators did not wish for their children to encounter graphically violent and sensitive works during their use of our facility. And Sorey said the decision to cancel the Palestinian kids' art exhibit was not a judgment of the art itself or related to any political opinions.

But Late Friday another board member, Randolph Belle, issued a more conciliatory statement, saying the museum would work with the sponsors of the Palestinian kids' art exhibit to re-schedule the show.
I know that people wrote to MOCHA about the questionable source of these drawings. Apparently, the museum was ignoring it.

Anyway, the activists turned the museum down, saying they found their own space to show their anti-Israel propaganda:
The Alliance's executive director, Barbara Lubin, said she received a call Friday afternoon from a museum representative asking to meet with her group to discuss rescheduling the exhibit.

"I just laughed," she said. "I said, 'You must be crazy; we have spent the last three weeks looking for a place to display (the artwork.) ... I can't believe you have the chutzpah (audacity) to call me at this late date.' I have just signed a lease on a space for (an exhibit) for the next two months."

The museum's interim executive director, Masako Kalbach, was sympathetic to the views of museum critics.

"We do understand their feelings about our offer of being too late," she said. "We would really like to talk to them."

...Late Friday, museum board member Randolph Belle issued a statement.

"When we canceled the exhibit 'A Child's View from Gaza' earlier this month, we did so both because we lacked a formal policy for sensitive content, and because we were not confident that we had the resources to deal with the numerous concerns we received regarding the exhibit. In response to input from the community and careful consideration by our board of directors and staff, the Museum of Children's Art has developed a new policy governing the exhibition of items with sensitive content," the statement said.

Belle's statement said the Middle East Children's Alliance has been invited to reschedule the exhibit in keeping with the new policy.

Lubin said she had not seen Belle's statement Saturday.

She is traveling to Gaza next month to collect new artwork from the children based on how they feel about having their exhibit banned from the museum.

Lubin said she will consider working with the museum to show this set of artwork as long as they do not censor the show.
(h/t Samson)