Robyn Bellospirito (artist)
Artist: Robyn Bellospirito
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Manhasset, NY
Medium: Public Art
Confronting Bodies: Manhasset Public Library
Description of Artwork: The paintings featured semi-nude women, and were named "Tears in the Machine," "Lovers of the Past," and "As Angels Fly Away."
The Incident: Bellospirito had been approved to show her artwork in the library's Community room, before library officials knew that several of her works contained semi-nude women. Upon discovering the fact, Bellospirito's artwork was banned from the library, citing an unwritten "no nudes" policy.
Results of Incident: Bellospirito sued the library for infringing on her First Amendment Rights and The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York held in her favor. The case set precedent in in the Eastern District of New York and has been referenced in similar trials concerning art and the first amendment around the country.
In 1996, the Manhasset library displayed Bellospirito's artwork in the Community room.