In Brief

Whoopi Weighs in on Emmett Till Painting as Schutz Storm Reaches Daytime TV

The debate over “Open Casket,” Dana Schutz’s painting in the Whitney Biennial, was a topic of heated discussion last week during an episode of The View.

On Wednesday, the art world’s current inescapable and divisive topic of conversation crossed over into daytime television as Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and the other co-hosts of The View weighed in on the controversy surrounding Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, “Open Casket” (2016).

In their five-minute discussion, the co-hosts never name the artist Hannah Black, but react to her open letter, calling for the painting’s removal and destruction. They seem to come down unanimously in favor of Schutz’s painting, evoking precedents from the Nazis’ targeting of “degenerate” art and Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With” (1964) to the writings of Mark Twain and the outcry against Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” (1996). “You may be an artist, but you need to grow up,” Goldberg says, seemingly addressing Black. “If you are an artist, young lady, you should be ashamed of yourself. Because if somebody decides they don’t like your art, then what?”

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