Warhol Foundation Threatens Smithsonian Support After Piece Is Pulled

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has sent a letter to the Smithsonian threatening to end future support to the institution if it does not reinstate a work that was pulled from the exhibit “Hide/ Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” at the National Portrait Gallery. The work in question was removed November 30, but the Warhol Foundation’s letter was sent just yesterday.

The piece, a clip from a video “A Fire in My Belly,” by artist David Wojnarowicz, was deemed offensive by the president of the Catholic League and conservative politicians because it depicts ants crawling on a cross.

The Warhol Foundation gave $100,000 to the Smithosonian to help finance the exhibit, which concerns as The Times put it, “homosexual desire in American portraiture.”

In solidarity, the New Museum has started showing the film in its lobby.