Elsewhere online
July 13, 2015

Smithsonian to Leave Exhibition of Cosby Collection in Place

The Smithsonian has decided not to remove artworks from Bill and Camille Cosby's private collection from an ongoing exhibit at its National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reports.

Smithsonian officials have met privately in recent months to discuss what to do about the show amid spiraling allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Cosby, the news service writes. Court documents made public last week revealed that 78-year-old entertainer, who has publicly denied the accusations, admitted under oath in 2005 that he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

About a third of the pieces in the African-art museum's 50th anniversary exhibition, which opened in November, were loaned by the Cosbys, who also funded the show with a $716,000 donation. "First and fundamentally, this is an art exhibit," Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian's undersecretary for art, history, and culture, said of the decision to keep the works on view. "So it's not about the life and career of Bill Cosby. It's about the artists."