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Separating the Art from the Artist: Museums Deal with Sexual Harassment

One of Chuck Close's self portraits is part of the Akron Art Museum's collection.
One of Chuck Close's self portraits is part of the Akron Art Museum's collection.

Following accusations of sexual harassment against artist Chuck Close, are museums in Northeast Ohio reconsidering how they exhibit his work?

Chuck Close is known for his photorealism portraits. His work hangs prominently in both the Akron Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Akron Art Museum said in a written statement it plans to keep exhibiting Close’s work, but is taking the issue "very seriously and are holding internal discussions including voices from all areas of the museum to determine how we will handle the controversy surrounding showing the work of Chuck Close.

"The museum is committed to educating and encouraging conversation about the social and cultural context of artwork and artists."

In an email, The Cleveland Museum of Art declined to comment.

The New York Times reports the National Portrait Gallery has put a major exhibition of Close's work on hold.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia says it will keep its Chuck Close exhibition up, but will add a gallery nearby examining power imbalances between genders.

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