The Smithsonian is finding itself in hot water over a controversial Christmas-season exhibit showing Jesus Christ covered in ants, naked brothers kissing, genitalia, and TV host Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts.
Penny Starr at CNSNEWS.com first reported about the federally funded D.C. tourist attraction’s exhibit:
The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently showing an exhibition that features images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show’s catalog as “homoerotic.”
The exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” opened on Oct. 30 and will run throughout the Christmas Season, closing on Feb. 13.
“This is an exhibition that displays masterpieces of American portraiture and we wanted to illustrate how questions of biography and identity went into the making of images that are canonical,” David C. Ward, a National Portrait Gallery (NGP) historian who is also co-curator of the exhibit, told CNSNews.com.
Congressman John Boehner, Ohio Republican and Speaker-to-be, along with Congressman Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, condemned the Smithsonian exhibit. According to Fox News, Mr. Cantor is calling for the Smithsonian to remove the exhibit.
“This is an outrageous use of tax payer money and an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season. When a museum receives taxpayer money, the taxpayers have a right to expect that the museum will uphold common standards of decency. The museum should pull the exhibit and be prepared for serious questions come budget time,” said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for Eric Cantor.