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Rule of Law

Carnegie Mellon University: Bigots and Turds

May 11th, 2013 - 6:47 am

Two men who built America into a great nation, Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, helped build a great university — Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  But like so many other American campuses, it has descended into rot.

Consider the products of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon, commonly called CMU.

The first CMU student in the news seeking an art degree is the anti-Catholic bigot Katherine O’Connor.  O’Connor thought it would be edgy to walk around campus half-dressed as the pope, and half-dressed in nothing.  The order of those halves gave her the opportunity to creatively employ her art studies in a way you can read about here.  Her bottom half being naked allowed her to add to the “costume.”

There’s a problem with parading around campus half-dressed — it’s illegal in Pittsburgh.  O’Connor is going to learn the hard way that while her bigotry isn’t illegal, her antics were.  She was arrested along with Robb Godshaw, her criminal co-conspirator. She now faces charges of indecent exposure.

O’Connor is an art student at CMU (for now), and some Google work will reveal much about her life which I won’t reveal here.  It also reveals much about CMU’s art program.

Consider Professor Golan Levin’s class that O’Connor was taking in the School of Design: Electronic Design II.  Not only did O’Connor take this class, but so did Connie Dai.

Dai’s final project for CMU credit, which she describes here, is a “lovely be-jeweled turd that talks.”  For this she received academic credit from (purportedly) one of America’s elite universities.

Andrew Mellon should be a household name.  In addition to financing the industrial growth of America, he made one of the most philanthropic gifts to the United States ever — his art collection and the building to hold it on the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art.  Here you will find original works from Mellon’s collection by da Vinci, Monet, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Raphael, and more.  There are no talking be-jeweled turds.

Also read: 

Can Anyone Learn How to Appreciate Art?

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All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
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Enough cannot be said about Hilton Kramer and his legacy. He was a beacon of hope in a very barren art world. He had impeccable taste, a taste born of sophistication, simplicity and - ultimately - an ability to separate truth from sham. God bless Hilton Kramer, he fought the good fight. PS - He also loved and understood cats.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hilton Kramer, founder of The New Criterion, fought these people on their own ground. He fought for the truth to be told, he fought for what art is and why it matters to all of us. Roger Kimball continues the fight. People, read The New Criterion.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The first thing fascists do is co-opt art and destroy those who are individual and represent that which they must destroy, the truth. This was begun in the 1960s and continues . . .
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the National Gallery of Art to a turd. Decline of a civilization in one short phrase.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I received an email on Fri from the CMU president regarding the "incident." He is ducking the issue by passing it off to the Pittsburgh Police. There will be no university disciplinary action because its artistic expression.

Question for President Cohon? If the student similarly mocked gays, Mohammed or various ethic groups, how many long would the student remain in the university?

Double standard anyone?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
That email can be read here
http://www.cmu.edu/about/leadership/president/may-10-statement.shtml

"There will be no separate disciplinary action pursued through the university’s internal process."
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sigh. Yes, it is sad but true. Our art institutions are dismal. If it isn't ugly or about decay, dismemberment, or disintegration, they'd really rather you didn't bother.
I took my granddaughters to the Cleveland Museum and we had fun "swimming" through one of Martin Creed's balloon filled rooms, but afterward, as we munched our PF Chang's, one of them asked, "How is that art?"

Reminded me of the child who pointed out the emperor wore no clothes.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
This kind of “shit” started long ago. Back in the mid-1970s I was an undergrad at (what I had supposed was a very staid, solid, middle of the road) Penn State University Park Campus, and one day while at the Pattee Library I wandered into an exhibit there that featured what I believe were supposed to be examples of the outstanding the work of some students in the Fine Arts curriculum.

Well, one of the “artworks” was a large white rectangular box with what looked like windows cut in its exterior walls, out of which radiated a very red light, accompanied—if I remember correctly—by faint screams, and people were invited to peer into the windows. And peering into what I supposed was to be seen as “hellish” red light one saw a number of little pudgy creatures being tortured in various ways, hence the screams.

As you can see, almost 40 years later I can still remember this “artwork,” but was I enlightened or “enriched by it? I don't think so. Ah, such “bold” and “transgressive” art, which ratified and reinforced all the bad things I thought about “modern” art.

Then, too, there was the “artwork” I saw at the Philadelphia Museum of Art several years later, a sheet of plywood painted black and laid on the floor at the threshold of one of their galleries, the “artwork” being made by you as you walked across the plywood and, then, were supposed to look back at your footprints.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dire Straits debut album, from back in '78, includes the song "In the Gallery" about modern art, contrasting a real artist with the hacks who somehow get approved:

"And then you get an artist says he doesn't want to paint at all
He takes an empty canvas and sticks it on the wall
The birds of a feather all the phonies and all of the fakes
While the dealers they get together
And they decide who gets the breaks
And who's going to be in the gallery"

I doubt Knopfler (who offers some great guitar licks in this piece) ever imagined anyone could ever offer a "turd" as art, never mind have it accepted as such.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, but can't help but laugh that two individuals who led the way to make hemp cannabis illegal in the 1930's to benefit their investments and become rich, now has a art department at their university, that thinks a turd is art.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a very bright high school junior who is interested in graphic design and was considering applying to CMU. Oh well, that's one school we can cross the list. Thanks for the heads up Christian and thanks Ms O'Connor and Ms Dai for revealing the liberal leanings of the CMU Arts program. It's sad though, our dog could have kept the program well supplied with poop.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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