Letters Home III
Region: North America
Artist: Mona Waterhouse
Confronting Bodies: University of Mobile officials
Dates of Action: 1996
Location: University of Mobile, Mobile, Alabama, USA
Description of Artwork: In Letters Home III, Waterhouse applied beeswax and pigment to handmade paper. The painting depicts ancient rune stone writings of Scandinavia, which Waterhouse intended to represent her heritage
The Incident: Waterhouse submitted a slide of Letters Home III to the selection committee for Art with a Southern Drawl, the University of Mobile's annual art exhibit. The committee selected the painting and it was subsequently installed in the university's Fine Arts Building. After the installation but before the opening of the exhibit, a student notified the chair of the university's Department of Fine Arts that she believed the painting contained "demonic" symbols. Several university officials agreed that the symbols were demonic and the painting was removed from the exhibit before the opening. The university informed Waterhouse of the removal via mail and invited her to submit another piece. Waterhouse declined.
Results of Incident: Letters Home III was not shown at the exhibit.
Source: NCAC & http://www.thefirstamendment.org/ncfechap1.htm