I expect you all have heard about the controversy regarding a work pulled under political pressure by the Smithsonian from the queer portraiture show “Hide/Seek” at the National Portrait Gallery. For background, Tyler Green has been covering this story exhaustively. Apparently the word to cut “A Fire in My Belly” came directly from Secretary Wayne Clough, who has otherwise by all accounts been doing good things at SI. It’s a sad litany of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. I agree that the call for Clough to resign is misguided. I also like this analysis of Wojnarowicz’s piece as religious art. Welcome back to the culture wars, friends.
If you live in Washington state. contact your representatives about the governor’s plan to slash funding and indefinitely shutter (pdf) the Museum of Northwest Arts and Culture in Spokane. More info here. (via Larry Cebula on fb)
Some good news: a great article about Minnesota local history organizations, featuring the Richfield Historical Society.
One stolen artifact has been returned to the Wisconsin Historical Society–hopefully first of many.
Reverb10 is a thoughful year-in-review writing project picked up by folks all over the web. I’ve been enjoying reading the posts of our colleague Krista McCracken, who is using the prompts to evaluate her public history practice.
NCPH has put up the program for next year’s meeting, April 6-9 in Pensacola. A generous percentage of workshops and sessions will be held at Historic Pensacola Village, which, besides being an excellent site for a public history conference, has free wireless.
Speaking of NCPH conferences, in 2012 we’re meeting jointly with OAH in Milwaukee, which means proposals are due insanely early, this February 1. Get busy!