Rhode Island Student's Drawings Removed from Display
Region: North America
Artist: Andrew Mastrocinque
Confronting Bodies: Portsmouth High School Principal
Date of Action: 1995
Location: Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA
Description of Artwork: Mastrocinque's charcoal drawings emphasized the human form, featuring male and female nudes.
The Incident: Portsmouth High School art teacher, Marilyn Carpenter, chose Mastrocinque for the school's artist of the month and hung five of his drawings in a glass case near the school library. Within hours of their display, the school principal, John Lucas, removed the drawings. Several students protested, hanging signs that read, "Censorship is a disease," and "Art should not be censored." In addition, Carpenter contacted her union claiming a breach of academic freedom.
Results of Incident: The school superintendent promised that there would be no further interference with future exhibits. Carpenter withdrew the grievance and the works were reinstalled in her classroom.
Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1996