Dec. '88 - ``Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment'' opens at Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, for which the institute received $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. March '89 - Robert Mapplethorpe dies.

April '89 - American Family Association spearheads protest of NEA funding of work by Andres Serrano. Sen. Jesse Helmes (R) begins campaign in Congress against NEA.

June '89 - Under pressure from rising furor in Congress, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., cancels Mapplethorpe show.

July '89 - Washington Project for the Arts offers to present the show instead. House approves symbolic $45,000 cut (the combined sum of Mapplethorpe and Serrano grants) in the proposed NEA budget and a change in the grant-making process that gives NEA rather than the grant recipient final say over how money is used. Senator Helms secures amendment that bans NEA grants for ``obscene or indecent materials.'' (Language is later modified to omit the word ``indecent.'')

Oct. '89 - Congress approves final NEA appropriations bill ($171 million), which includes wording that requires grant recipients to pledge they will not produce ``obscene'' works.

March '90 - President Bush announces he supports an NEA without content-based restrictions.

April '90 - Show arrives at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. On opening day, a grand jury indicts the center and its director, Dennis Barrie, on obscenity charges. Show allowed to remain open. Trial set for September.

June '90 - John Frohnmayer, NEA chairman, rejects four of 18 solo performance artists recommended for grants by theater-peer review panel.

July 5, '90 - NEA adopts new guidelines for tightening its obscenity restrictions, requiring grant recipients suspected of violating them to submit ``written justification of the project'' within 30 days.

July 25, '90 - Congress postpones debate over NEA reauthorization bill until September.

Aug. '90 - Exhibition makes final stop at Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today