This weekend marked the first major protest outside of Washington DC over the ongoing controversy surrounding the National Portrait Gallery‘s decision to pull a piece of art from an exhibition following pressure put upon it by political and religious groups. Art+, an art-based activist group, put together the protest yesterday afternoon in New York, which wound up bringing together somewhere between 400 to 500 protesters. The march, filled with artists, free speech advocates and placards by the hundreds, began at the Met and ended at the Smithsonian‘s Cooper-Hewitt. Hyperallergic has some great photos of the event and the people who were apart of it and a quick overview of what all went down.
Elsewhere in the controversy and to the north of New York, Canadian artist AA Bronson has asked the National Portrait Gallery to remove his work from the exhibition at the center of the ongoing fight. The Gallery had initially refused his request, but the NY Times reports that “negotiations are continuing” between the artist, the Smithsonian’s Gallery and the work’s owner, the National Gallery of Canada, who reportedly has sided with Bronson. This following the Andy Warhol Foundation‘s move to pull their funding from the Smithsonian over the issue and things still aren’t faring well for the organization on the PR front.