I was shocked to discover that the Tate still has sculptures and graphic art by Eric Gill, freely available for public viewing. Don't they know that he sexually abused his children (& his dog)? This print, which can be viewed by appointment, even includes an image of a naked child!
|Picture: BBC Your Paintings|
Ulster Museum has this painting by Agostino Tassi (Landscape with Figures), despite Tassi being a well-known rapist.
Sounds ridiculous? Yes, but no more so than the Tate's decision to remove prints by Graham Ovenden when he was convicted of indecency with a child. The prints have been widely shown before, but now the Tate says that his conviction 'sheds new light' on the images. In other words, they are not being removed because of anything inherent in the pictures, but rather because of the perceived intent behind the works has changed. That's a creepy concept - that an art gallery can remove works from view because of the inferences they have drawn about the intent behind their creation.
I find it perverse that people are so ready to read indecent meanings into pictures, rather than appreciate artistic merit. I don't know Ovenden's work at all (and the images are now not even available on the Tate website), but clearly the Tate judged them to be of sufficient merit to display. However repugnant the artist's intentions may have been, their artistic quality is unchanged. This is just a contemporary version of covering up nude statues.