NEVILLE PUBLIC MUSEUM OFFENDS CATHOLICS
Catalyst September Issue 1999
On July 2, the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, began displaying an art exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Norbert Kox entitled, “To Hell and Back.” It features the following: a) the Virgin Mary depicted as the “Great Harlot” b) Christ labeled the “Son of Perdition” c) God the Father represented as a monster d) Our Lady of Guadalupe with cross-shaped knife, cutting the heart of a baby e) Christ wearing a necklace with the Satanic symbol “666” f) A headless statue of Mary with black filth running out of her Immaculate Heart g) A rewritten, blasphemous version of “Our Father.” In addition, there is blasphemous misuse of Catholic sacramentals, such as rosary beads, medals, crucifixes, scapulars and votive candles. The exhibit is scheduled to run through October 10.
On July 27, we sent a letter to Frederick K. Baer, Chairman of the Neville Public Museum’s Board of Directors, and all the members of the board, requesting that a resolution be passed that would “formally express its misgivings about this exhibit.” We added that “there is no other way in which Catholic sensibilities, already damaged, can be mollified.”
On August 10, we issued the following comment to the press:
“Two weeks have passed since we sent a letter—overnight express—to the board of directors of the Neville Public Museum stating our concerns. There has been no reply.
“We never asked for the art to be censored in any way. All we asked for was some reassurance from the board that it did not personally condone anti-Catholic bigotry. That such reassurance has not been forthcoming speaks loudly and clearly about the board’s sense of fairness. Accordingly, we will now contact the officials of Brown County, who run and fund the museum, to consider defunding the establishment; we will also take our case to appropriate state officials.”
In a letter to Wisconsin public officials, we maintained that “Bigoted art is bigotry, and while such expressions are constitutionally protected, no museum has a constitutional right to the public’s purse.” The Catholic League has asked these officials to stop all funding of the Neville Public Museum.
We especially urge our Wisconsin members to write to Hon. Tommy G. Thompson, Office of the Governor, State Capitol, 125 South State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702 and Hon. Nancy Nusbaum, Executive of Brown County, P.O. Box 23600, Green Bay, WI 54305 and at least some of the following state officials (we wrote to all of them):
Sen. Brian Burke, Sen. Russell Decker, Sen. Robert Jauch, Sen. Gwendolynne Moore, Sen. Kevin Shibilski, Sen. Kimberly Plache, Sen. Robert Crowles and Sen. Mary Panzer. Also contact Rep. John Gard, Rep. Cloyd Porter, Rep. Dean Kaufert, Rep. Sherly Albers, Rep. Marc Duff, Rep. David Ward, Rep. Gregory Huber and Rep. Antonio Riley.
All the above serve on the Joint Committee on Finance. Letters can be addressed to State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702. Remember, we are not asking for the art to be removed, only that the funding of the museum be discontinued.