Onward We March
Artist: Robin Harris
Date of Action: March, 2015
Location: Trumbull Library
Confronting Bodies: City government official, First Selectman Tim Herbst
Description of Artwork: The painting shows Mother Teresa alongside feminist icons like Gloria Steinem and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.
The Incident: The painting was ordered taken down by a city government official, First Selectman Tim Herbst. But even though the complaints the library received concered seeing the famous Catholic nun alongside Sanger, Herbst claimed that the town received a formal letter contending that the painting infringes copyright in using Mother Teresa’s image. Library Director Susan Horton told the Trumbull Times that there was “no proof that the copyright is valid,” and that members of the library board disagreed with the decision to remove the painting. But it was removed nonetheless. If including the image of a public figure in a painting were a copyright violation, it would be impossible to create a critical image of a politician, or even an admiring portrait of a historical figure like Mother Teresa.
Last week Herbst said to the Connecticut Post. ”As soon as I get an agreement, which is standard operating procedure for other town buildings, it goes back up,” Friday March 6th the painting was once again exhibited.
Results of Incident: The painting was removed and reexhibited.