Letter: Nothing rude about the nude
Tuesday 14 February 1995
Sir: As an artist, I was delighted to read Professor Naismith's letter (10 February), which he wrote as a scientist who thinks and speaks more clearly about art than many artists do.
Good artists, as well as good scientists, never stop experimenting; having ideas and then trying them out, requiring imagination and then rigour. By definition, neither artists nor scientists can ever deliver a correct message because they must keep moving. (Both Sir Ernst Gombrich and Sir Peter Medawar describe this very clearly.) Thinking in both the arts and in science can be seriously hampered by minority pressure groups. Intellectual censorship is always frightening, but inside a university it quite simply destroys the core.
The argument in Helen Keats's letter (10 February) was that the nude paintings were "out of context". Should social statisticians sitting in conference rooms only be allowed to look at pictures of social statisticians sitting in conference rooms? All good art transports us "out of context". Stephen Spender's poem An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum describes this beautifully and is a warning of the dangers of politically correct censorship inside any place of learning. The poem was written decades ago - so when did political correctness start?
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis
- 3 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 4 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 5 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis
Elizabeth Norment dead: House of Cards actress honoured by Kevin Spacey after she dies aged 61
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...