Before Take-off

From Censorpedia

Date: 1995

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Mixed Media Sculpture

Artist: Alfred Olschewski (1921 - 2001)

Confronting Bodies: Handworks Gallery of American Crafts' owner, employees and patrons

Date of Action: 1995

Location: Acton, Massachusetts

Description of Artwork: Before Take-off is an abstract, collaged, wood piece showing an airplane beginning its ascent. The collage is made up of images of female limbs and undergarments taken from advertisements.

The Incident: Olschewski and his wife offered the gallery owner, Glenn Johnson, several pieces to display. Johnson accepted three pieces and hung them in his gallery. Johnson removed Before Take-off after receiving complaints from employees and customers. Three months later Olschewski was notified that his piece "spent more time in the back room than on display." The Olschewskis removed their pieces from the gallery.

Results of Incident: Evelyn Oschewski wrote the local paper describing the situation. Johnson defended his actions as his curatorial decision.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1996