The Obligations of the Chosen

Jewish Museums in a Politically Correct World

in European Judaism
View More View Less
  • 1 Gilbert Collection, London
Restricted access

So there I was – sitting at dinner in New College, Cambridge, next to a rather sophisticated museum-going lady from Chicago. She was sharing with me her fury at the indignities suffered by women visiting art museums. As a prime example, my dinner companion cited a sculpture of a nude, by Aristide Maillol, standing at the head of the stairs at the Art Institute of Chicago. What is a young girl to think about a nude torso, headless and armless, intended to greet visitors to this great art museum? With its focus on the crotch, this image of a maimed and helpless woman sends all the wrong messages.