Tags: camille cosby | art | collection | smithsonian | bill cosby

Camille Cosby and Husband Bill's Art Collection Will Stay at Smithsonian

By    |   Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 09:44 AM

Bill and Camille Cosby have seen many organizations distance themselves in the wake of sexual assault allegations against the famous comedian, but the Smithsonian will continue to show art from the couple's private collection.

According to The Associated Press, roughly one-third of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art's 50th anniversary exhibition came from the Cosbys' extensive art collection, and most of it had never been seen by the public.

Now that Cosby has dozens of women accusing him of drugging and, in some cases, sexually assaulting them over the years, the museum — located on the National Mall in Washington D.C. — is putting up a sign next to the artwork.

Already, the Smithsonian has put a disclaimer on its website the reads: "The National Museum of African Art is aware of the recent revelations about Bill Cosby’s behavior. The museum in no way condones this behavior. Our current ‘Conversations’ exhibition, which includes works of African art from our permanent collection and African American art from the collection of Camille and Bill Cosby, is fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not the owners of the collections."

In addition to the artwork, the Cosbys also donated a $716,000 gift, which covers the cost of the exhibition. The exhibition will likely increase the value of the artworks in the long-run, however, which would benefit the Cosbys' overall fortune.

"It just raises a little eyebrow that a trustee of a museum is lending (her) own collection, funding part of the exhibition and the exhibition is highlighting works . . . by less well-known artists whose work is considered by some to be undervalued," said Noah Kupferman, an art market expert at Shapiro Auctions. "Repositioning these artists' works as suddenly important could have significant positive effect on their economic value."

The Guardian U.K. reported that printed quotes and audio recordings from Bill, Camille, and their children are featured throughout the exhibit, with them lending introductions and commentary on a number of the works.

Many organizations have ostracized Cosby in the wake of the sexual assault allegations.

As the AP reported: "Walt Disney World removed a statue of Cosby. Bounce TV and Centric networks stopped re-running 'The Cosby Show,' and some civil rights leaders called for Cosby's star to be removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A sexual assault awareness group has petitioned the White House to revoke Cosby's Presidential Medal of Freedom."

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Bill and Camille Cosby have seen many organizations distance themselves in the wake of sexual assault allegations against the famous comedian, but the Smithsonian will continue to show art from the couple's private collection.
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Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 09:44 AM
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