Posted on | June 7, 2011 | 36 Comments
The Triumph of Civic Virtue is a 1922 neoclassical statue by Frederick MacMonnies which, since 1941, has been displayed in front of Borough Hall in Queens, N.Y. The allegorical figure shows a male warrior, symbolizing civic virtue, having conquered two prone female figures symbolizing the twin sirens of vice and corruption. Feminists have objected to this symbolism and Don Surber reminds us that the humorless scolds found a willing ally in their local congressman:
The “Triumph of Civic Virtue,” the nearly 100-year old statue, is a public statue in Queens that depicts a nude man standing over two prone women. Rep. Anthony Weiner wants it taken down and to sell it on Craigslist.
Weiner believes the statue to be sexist:
“I believe in art, I believe in public art…But that doesn‘t mean that we don’t have a right to say, forcefully, some art is simply offensive to us and we think it should go.”
I’ve been able to find video of the February press conference where Weiner denounced the statue:
“By depicting women in that role, by depicting women under a muscular man, was a common artistic form of its time, which is out of step with our cultural expression of the moment.”
— Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Feburary 2011
Indeed. And “our cultural expression of the moment” evidently involves married 46-year-old congressmen sending photos of their crotches to college girls.
ANTHONY WEINER, FEMINIST HERO
Saving Women From the Menace of Neo-Classical Statues
UPDATE: “They told me that if I voted Republican that the government would try to destroy the arts . . . and they were right!”
UPDATE II: Linked by Natasha at Moose and Squirrel — thanks!