Artist: Mary Beth Edelson
Confronting Bodies: Eight faculty members at Franklin and Marshal College, including a Russian Orthodox Priest
Date of Action: October 1995
Specific Location: The Women's Center, Franklin and Marshal College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Description of Artwork: The 1972 poster is a reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper with superimposed photographs of the heads of modern women's artists over those of Christ and his disciples. A border of more women artists frames the image. Georgia O'Keefe's head takes the place of Jesus.
Description of Incident: A copy of the poster was donated to the Women's Center upon its opening in 1992, and the center placed it on permanent display. As a result, eight faculty members complained that it was an affront to Christian sensitivities. They called for the censure of the Women's Center and its Executive Board, who declined to remove the image.
Results of Incident: As in 1972, the piece attracted media attention and sparked debate between religious communities and feminists. +++Mary Beth Edelson (formerly Mary Beth Snyder) first encountered censorship in 1955 as a student at Indiana's DePauw University. Two of her works were removed from an exhibit on display in their Union Building. They were eliminated by suggestion of some faculty members who complained that they were "degrading, not pretty, and would discourage other students from entering the Art Department." Her pieces were replaced by two of her other works, and later exhibited in a senior exhibit in the Art Building.
Source: NCAC, In a Pig's Eye: The Offence of Some Living American Women Artists, Linda S. Aleci, DePauw University newspaper
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