A Florida school principle faced unfair and unfounded consequences for showing a picture of Michelangelo‘s David to a 6th grade art class. Three parents complained to the Tallahassee school board, and forced Hope Carrasquilla to resign. Italy is trying to soothe this current string of wayward thinking. The mayor of Florence is inviting parents and Carrasquilla to view the David at the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Overall, the controversy surrounding the David statue is nothing short of ridiculous. One parent described the classical statue as “pornographic.” Carved by Michelangelo between 1501-1504 from a single block of marble, the David is a marvel of beauty and anatomy. Obviously, most consider it a wonder of the world, not something a child’s eyes need shielding from. And Marla Stone, Head of Humanities Studies at the American Academy in Rome is of a similar mind, chiding the US for it’s bizarre nature lately.
And yes, “The Simpsons” predicted this one, too. “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge,” season 2 episode 9, sees Marge sensor the beloved cartoon.
“What we have here is a moral crusade against the body, sexuality, and gender expression and an ignorance of history…The incident is about fear, fear of beauty, of difference, and of the possibilities embedded in art,” Stone said in an e-mail, pointing out the mounting ridiculousness of the culture war in the US. The head of the Galleria dell’Accademia, Cecilie Hollberg, is flabbergasted by the controversy.
“To think that David could be pornographic means truly not understanding the contents of the Bible, not understanding Western culture and not understanding Renaissance art,” Hollberg says in a phone interview.
Is the United States Becoming Culturally Tone Deaf?
Tallahassee Classical follows a curriculum designed by Hillsdale College. A Michigan conservative Christian school that frequently consults Florida Gov. Ron Desantis on educational issues. As we know, Desantis is currently waging a war on children’s education while spewing dangerous rhetoric towards marginalized groups. Suddenly it’s no surprise that those lacking common sense are shouting “porn” at a nude statue.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Carrasquilla’s honored to be a guest of Florence’s mayor and feels she’ll honestly take him up on the invite. And while her resignation is being protested by other parents, she’s not certain she would come back even if the ruling was overturned. Besides which, Barney Bishop, chairman of Tallahassee’s school board, seems reluctant to allow her return regardless. According to Bishop, the David photo isn’t the only reason for Carraquilla’s ousting. And he seems content to stand by his decision.
“Parents are entitled to know anytime their child is being taught a controversial topic and picture,” Bishop attests. Nevertheless, it’s an insult to fine art to consider David “controversial”. Not only that, it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding art. These viewpoints are becoming increasingly dangerous. And cultural and historical significance is being completely destroyed. There’s conservative, and then there’s becoming zealots.