Today in Texas History – December 7

From the Annals of the Curators –  In 1955, the board of trustees of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts proclaimed that the museum would “exhibit and acquire works of art only on the basis of their merit as works of art.”  The proclamation was in response to what was known as the “Red Art” controversy.  In March 1955 the Public Affairs Luncheon Club, a local women’s group, had accused DMOFA and its director, Jerry Bywaters, of the dreadful sin of exhibiting the work of artists with communist affiliations and neglecting the work of Dallas artists.  The PALC reflected the incredibly conservative thinking of Dallas’ power elite.  In response, DMOFA removed works by acclaimed artists such as Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. The attempt at censorship generated a strong response from the artistic community and the trustees’ statement and the support of the Dallas Morning News helped quell the controversy. .

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