Political correctness run amok at Butler


A Jan. 25 front page article in the Tribune Chronicle detailed the decision by the Board of Trustees of the Butler Institute of American Art to table a decision to accept an offer to house 66 original pieces of Norman Rockwell art. Their actions were supposedly taken because they were afraid the paintings may be “stigmatized” because of who owned them.

Well, who do you suppose owned them? Perhaps the Russian Mafia or a brutal South American dictator? That might be a sufficient reason to reject housing the art. No, these paintings are owned by the Boy Scouts of America.

You see, the Scouts were recently embroiled in child sexual abuse allegations, which were reportedly quickly addressed. Does this “stigmatize” the art enough to reject it? What large organization hasn’t had problems of this nature? Aren’t there likely to be some bad people in any large group? Can we only accept art from the Catholic Church? Wait, that won’t work either.

Have we truly gone from tolerating a crucifix in a jar of urine as fine art, to rejecting Norman Rockwell paintings owned by the Boy Scouts to avoid possibly appearing to be politically incorrect?

Both my wife and I, as artists and dues-paying supporters of the institute, are calling on the board of trustees to convene an emergency meeting to reconsider the ill-considered motion to table the offer to house these treasures.