UMFA Art Lounge

A carved, white marble bust of a nude woman with her eyes and nipples blacked out.

May – September 2024

For the summer months of 2024, as we prepare to open our next ACME Lab, the UMFA is transforming our education gallery into an art lounge!

In collaboration with the J. Willard Marriott Library, we’re curating a selection of books on censorship, with a particular focus on the visual arts. From controversial classics, exhibition catalogs, and biographies of contemporary nonconformists, there is something here for everyone. 

But the art lounge offers more than just reading material. It's a space for reflection, relaxation, and solace amidst the nearby treasures of our permanent collection.

We're delighted to share the list of books selected for the UMFA Art Lounge with generous assistance from J. Willard Marriott Librarian Allyson Mower.

Banned Books:

  • Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Drama by Raina Telgmeir
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  • Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • ttyl (series) by Lauren Myracle
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel 

Artists who have been censored:

  • Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker by Gwendolyn Shaw
  • Ai Weiwei: Works, Beijing 1993-2003
  • Ai Weiwei's Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009
  • Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene by Diana Linden
  • Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love by Yayoi Kusama
  • The Flowering: The Autobiography of Judy Chicago by Judy Chicago and Gloria Steinem
  • Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun: The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution by Gita May
  • Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection by Saatchi Collection, Norman Rosenthal, et al
  • Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs by Paul Martineau and Britt Salvesen
  • Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities by Sadia Abbas and Jan Howard
  • Betye Saar: Uneasy Dancer by Mario Mainetti, Chiara Costa, et al
  • Who is Ana Mendieta? by Christine Redfern

Books on censorship:

  • Censoring Art: Silencing the Artwork edited by Riann Coulter
  • Censorship and Silencing: Practices of Cultural Regulation by Robert Post
  • Suspended License: Censorship and the Visual Arts by Elizabeth Childs
  • Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display by Jennifer Tyburczy
  • On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century by C. Carr
  • The Explicit Body in Performance by Rebecca Schneider
  • In and Out of View: Art and the Dynamics of Circulation, Suppression, and Censorship edited by Catha Paquette, Karen L. Kleinfelder, and Christopher Miles
  • Censored Art Today by Gareth Harris
  • Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art by Richard Meyer

As part of our Art Lounge, we've teamed up with PBS Utah to present a selection of in-gallery video clips. These videos shed light on the ongoing history of book bans in the USA, offering valuable context to this experience. 

 “PBS Utah is honored to collaborate with UMFA in this space. Dedicated to providing enriching, entertaining, and informative content, PBS Utah strives to deepen understanding of the world. We aim to be a trusted source, sparking curiosity and inspiring audiences of all ages and backgrounds to bridge divides and realize their full potential. 

We believe art provides insight into the human mind and soul, speaking truth in unique ways. Similarly, we view knowledge and facts as powerful tools. By increasing our understanding, we can bridge divides and foster empathy. 

We hope the video clips featured in this Art Lounge empower you with knowledge, confidence, and compassion." 

-Laura Durham, Programming and Engagement Director, PBS Utah.

A blue PBS logo is on the left and a black, red and grey U of U Library logo is on the right.
Hiram POWERS, (American, 1805–1873, active in Florence 1837–1873) Eve Disconsolate, ca. 1862, marble. Purchased with funds from Friends of the Art Museum, UMFA1973.020.