New Mexico Museum Defends Bikini-clad Virgin Mary
SANTA FE, New Mexico, Mar. 28, 01 (CWNews.com) - A Santa Fe
museum on Tuesday defended its exhibition of a painting
depicting the Virgin Mary in a bikini with a bare-breasted
woman as an angel in a post reminiscent of the image of Our
Lady of Guadalupe.
Officials of Santa Fe's Museum of International Folk Art
said "Our Lady," a digital photograph that is part of a
yearlong special exhibition, would remain in place, but
that they would meet with the public for comment next week.
"We certainly did not anticipate such a strong reaction,"
museum director Joyce Ice said. "And I would hope that
people are willing to continue their discussions in regard
to the role of art and how it plays into community values
and the freedom
Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe criticized the
picture as "yet another trashing of Catholicism" that
"shows the insensitivity to a large segment of Santa Feans
and imprudence in the administration of a state funded
institution. "In the recent past the Virgin Mary has been
shown in contemporary art smeared with elephant dung and
she has been depicted as a golden haired Barbie doll. Now
this!" he said.
The archbishop was referring to a Brooklyn, New York,
museum's 1999 depiction of the Virgin Mary made with
elephant dung, and a combination Barbie doll and Virgin of
Guadalupe exhibited in Santa Fe.
March 29, 2001
volume 12, no. 88