Thursday, February 07, 2013

P-G: Mt. Lebanon library says partially nude woman in photo exhibit breaks rules

It was labeled "Innocence." But the photo of a woman with an exposed breast -- from a historic painting hanging in the Mercer County Courthouse -- might be construed otherwise, according to Mt. Lebanon Public Library officials, who asked photographer John Flatz to replace it with something else. He refused, and thus began a tug of war that has, for now, ended in a draw. Read the full article:


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Anonymous Richard Gideon said...

From the Post-Gazette: "Photo by John Flatz
'Innocence,' a historic painting hanging in the Mercer County Courthouse."

First, "Innocence" is not a "painting hanging in the Mercer County Courthouse." It's a mural. Murals don't "hang" - they are, by definition, paintings applied directly to walls or ceilings. What is "hanging" is John Flatz's photograph of the mural, and that is in the Mt. Lebanon Library. The P-G article does, to its credit, say, in the fifth paragraph, that "Since 1911, the original "Innocence" mural has occupied one of four corners framing the dome of the Mercer County Courthouse." It's a minor detail, I realize, but one would expect a major newspaper to catch the contradiction.

Second, there seem to be some discrepancies over reports concerning the photo in the Mt. Lebanon Library; whether the "offending breast" is covered and Mr. Fratz's censorship comment is there for all to see. The last I heard the photo was in place and unaltered.

Finally, the "law of unintended consequences" has made its presence known in this whole silliness. Instead of protecting the "morals" of some giggling elementary school kids, the Library has given the rest of the country (the story is on the national wire) the impression that Mt. Lebanon is some sort of provincial backwater; probably not what the Library had in mind.

February 08, 2013 9:54 AM  

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