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City Museum is Accused of Altering Its AIDS Exhibit

April 27, 2001

The curators of "AIDS: A Living Archive" said yesterday they were upset that officials at the Museum of the City of New York softened the exhibit's sexual content. Jane Rosett and her colleague and companion Jean Carlomusto were hired by Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) to curate the exhibit, which is part of "Gay Men's Health Crisis: 20 Years Fighting for People with HIV/AIDS."

"AIDS is not pretty, AIDS is not Disney," Rosett said. "We didn't submit anything for shock value for its own sake." "It's very disturbing," said Dr. Lawrence D. Mass, a GMHC founding member who supplied some art from his own collection. Mass and Rosett said museum officials cropped photos to exclude images of intimacy between men and that representations of condoms and male genitals were banned from the show. In one instance, a bathhouse education poster reading "Great Sex! Don't Let AIDS Stop It" was altered to remove a graphic cartoon and disease prevention information.

But GMHC spokesperson Marty Algaze said the group is "very proud" of the exhibit, and he said that Mass and the artists were not speaking for the organization. "I was told the museum gets a large number of children and some sexually explicit material would be inappropriate for them to see." The curators, however, said that any exhibit dealing with AIDS and sexual issues should be as unfiltered as possible, and that the history of AIDS could not be fully told if sexual references were deleted.


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Adapted from:
New York Times
04.27.01; Susan Saulny



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

 

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