Jacksonville, Florida City Council President Clay Yarborough is very upset about an exhibition containing a photo of a nude, pregnant woman at the Museum of Contemporary Art, according to the Florida Times-Union.

He says that nudity has no place at the museum, where “anyone” can see it,  calling the photo “pornographic”.

Yarborough asked Mayor Alvin Brown’s office to pull $230,000 in grants from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, telling the mayor “he objected in part because the image could be seen by anyone, including children, coming to the museum, which is in a city-owned building.”

He explained that the nude portion of the exhibit “works against our efforts to promote a family-friendly Jacksonville and downtown.”

“I am trying to promote a positive moral climate in our city,” Yarborough told the Times-Union by email, “and though some will defend the pornography by labeling it ‘art,’ we need boundaries in order to be healthy, especially where it concerns our children.”

Officials from the museum and Cultural Council defended the artwork by photographer Angela Strassheim, which shows a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy with stomach and breasts uncovered. The photograph, titled “Janine Eight Months Pregnant” is part of photographer Angela Strassheim’s “Focused on Family” exhibit, a series of photographs celebrating family.

For artistic purposes, you can view it below:

photo by photographer Angela Strassheim
Image Courtesy of MOCA Jacksonville

Strassheim said she’s “quite shocked” about the stir the photo has made or that anyone would call her work, which is part of museum collections across the US, “pornographic.”

“I see an intimate moment of a nude, very pregnant woman basking in the last bit of afternoon sunlight as she waits for the birth of her child,” Strassheim said. “She is not affected by the cold of winter outside her window.”

According to The Daily Record, the Cultural Council says it “stands ready to defend the artistic and curatorial choices of our cultural service grantees.”

This is not the first time that Yarborough has caused controversy. (In fact, he’s dubbed himself “Dr. No” because he’s usually the person most likely to vote against government funding for pretty much anything. ) He made national headlines in 2010 for suggesting that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to hold any political office, and that homosexuals should probably “stay out” of politics, too.

But that didn’t stop him from moving up from City Council member, to Vice President — and now, he’s President of Jacksonville City Council.

A protest against Yarborough’s call for defunding the museum and rally  will be held tomorrow.

According to the event’s Facebook page, hundreds of protestors are prepared to attend.

Please, do not tell Clay Yarborough about the internet, okay?

[Top Image Credit: Jacksonville.com]

By Hypatia Livingston

"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."Writer, thinker, researcher, philosopher.

14 thoughts on “Jacksonville City Council Wingnut President Wants To Defund Museum Over Pregnant Nude”
    1. Agreed. I guess this guy does not like art in any form, unless of course the object is fulled clothed. For some reason reading this it makes me think he also expects all women to wear dresses down to their ankles.

  1. I thought pictures of naked women are exploitive? Shouldn’t feminists be happy about this? Maybe this woman only posed because she is broke and needs the money to feed her family? No exploitation? Myself, I don’t like the exploitation of anyone.

    1. Not everything is exploitative, art is a different approach to it than what you are talking about. What if she just posed to pose? To show off the beauty of being with child? Is that really all that exploitative when it is art?

  2. This guy sounds crazy. Did he look at other exhibits around the museum? Or has he ever been to other museums? Art can be anything and nudity is a big part of our art history. There is nothing wrong with the body in it’s natural state and anyone that disagrees with this must be very uncomfortable in their own skin. So would he have been okay with the photo if the woman was covering her breasts? Or would he still find that image vulgar?

  3. That is an absolutely beautiful photo.

    Since when is the human form pornographic? Why shouldn’t children know what a human body looks like? Sex and nudity are much different things. You think when the doctor sees your bare form that he somehow finds that pornographic? Of course not.

    What a crazy prude this guy is. Museums, and the great classical masterpieces, should be hidden in the cellar in this guy’s world.

    1. I totally agree. All forms of art are meant to be shared and not everyone is going to see what you see, it is up to that person to decide. I see something absolutely beautiful when I look at this picture and we as a society shouldn’t try to hide the human form.

    2. Since when is a mother in a non-pornographic pose, pornographic? That is the thing that makes me confused here. I could see it if she was in another pose but if you have every been pregnant, or know someone who has, this is pretty typical once you get to that size.

  4. Pornography is in the mind of the beholder, just as beauty is. This just shows what a narrow, dirty mind this guy really has. Time for the voters to get off their duffs and get this guy out of office.

  5. Who does this idiot think he is attempting to defund an entire institution just because he objects to one picture?? Fussy, puritanical, rightwing jackass. Stay the eff home if you don’t like it!!

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