The Smithsonian will proceed with the exhibition of 'Cosby Art Collection'

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art intends to proceed with the exhibition of the private art collection of Bill and Camille Cosby.

Bill Cosby

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art intends to proceed with the exhibition of the private art collection of Bill and Camille Cosby, despite the accusations by dozens of women that Mr. Cosby had drugged and raped them.

According to The New York Times, The museum, however, now plans to put a sign up outside the exhibition room warning visitors that the museum in no way condones Mr. Cosby’s alleged behavior, and that the exhibit should be seen as being about the art and the artists, not Mr. Cosby, the Smithsonian said Monday.

“This is a way of letting the public know,” said a Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St. Thomas, who said the sign would mirror recent statements to the news media.

Even as companies and others have distanced themselves from Mr. Cosby as accusations of sexual assault have built up, the Smithsonian has said it would keep the artworks on view, part of the museum’s 50th anniversary exhibition. The exhibit opened Nov. 9 and runs through Jan. 24 next year, and includes about 60 pieces from the Cosbys’ African-American art collection, along with more than 100 of the museum’s own artworks.

In recent statements, the Smithsonian has been keen to draw a line between exhibiting the collection and condoning Mr. Cosby’s alleged behavior.

In a statement last week, the museum said it was aware of the recent revelations about Mr. Cosby’s behavior. It said that it in no way condoned it, but that the exhibition “is fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not the owners of the collections.”

“The exhibition brings the public’s attention to African-American artists whose works have long been omitted from the study and appreciation of American art,” it said.


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