Monday Commentary
2:21 pm
Thu October 5, 2006

Cameron's New Chandelier Causing Controversy

A gynecologically-themed new purchase by the Cameron Art Museum is raising eyebrows among some of its members.

Wilmington, NC – Some art patrons think the Cameron?s latest work should have stayed in the doctor?s office, and they?re making their views known to the museum.

Museum director Deborah Velders? first purchase for the museum?s collection, a piece titled Annual, is a chandelier made in part from gynecological instruments.

After a profile of the artwork ran in the weekly arts magazine Currents, museum officials say they've heard a number of complaints from members about the work?s appropriateness. Velders defended the purchase, saying she hopes those concerned will judge the piece on its looks.

"It?s only when we say what it?s made out of that there?s controversy. I don?t believe there would be controversy if people just look at it. Which is ultimately what art?s all about. You have to look at it."

Velders declined to say how much the museum spent on the speculum chandelier.

The piece?s creator, Wilmington artist Dixon Stedler, says she was shocked to hear about the complaints. Stedler says the chandelier wasn?t intended to upset anyone.

"It?s just weird, because every woman I know ? every woman I know ? has had an experience with a speculum, and it?s still something that?s so taboo we can?t talk about it. And it?s not pornography, it?s not a sexual object."

Annual goes on display Friday as part of the new exhibit 'Weave.'