Name: Gwen, Maxine Henderson

Date:  1985 - 1995

Location:  North America



Artist: Maxine Henderson

Confronting Bodies: Laurie Crowder, an assistant superintendent for Murfreesboro City Schools; City Officials

Date of Action: October 1995

Specific Location: City Hall rotunda, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Description of Artwork: This oil painting depicts a seated nude woman with crossed arms and legs; one of her breasts is partially exposed.

Description of Incident: After viewing the painting, Laurie Crowder submitted a sexual harassment complaint to the city Legal Department. She claimed that City Hall was her workplace, and the painting made it a hostile environment. City officials therefore removed the painting

Results of Incident: Henderson filed a suit against the city for violating her First Amendment rights. On March 27, 1997, a U.S. district judge ruled in favor of Henderson, noting the fact that it was a public space. The city's art policy was changed to give the city manager, who enforces harassment policies, final say over rotunda displays.

Source: The Tennessean, 3.1.96, Time Magazine, 3.23.98, NCAC

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