Putting the shag back in shag rugs . . .


Seen around town, Austin, Texas: Keep Austin Weird. Found out what that meant. The quest for cultural enrichment for the Penta-Posse continued with a stop at the Austin Museum of Art. Instead, we found porn. Our westward adventure begins to feel like one long sex ed class. . .

That story just below. First: the hands-down favorite piece of “art” was a stack of plastic beach flip-flops in a pile on the floor. A portentous sign nearby warned: “Don’t Touch!”

I think that was there to ensure that the janitor didn’t accidentally toss them in the trash.

The Dreamer was aghast. “Why don’t I just clean out my closet for them?”

Just before leaving, we decided to take a swing through the “Community Room” which was just opposite the sign declaring the museum’s mission of outreach to families and children. It appeared to be some sort of craft festival — fun hats, scarves, jewelry.

Well, AND the larger-than-life, wall-sized picture of a naked woman done as a hooked rug.

I strolled over to talk with the young woman manning the front table. I asked her: what possible explanation could there be for putting this — and I gestured to the naked woman in high heels, reclining in a classic porn pose — on display in a museum, frequented by families?

She responded cheerily that they were a community group that had been invited to display their arts and craft work by the museum. I looked down at the table and picked up a few flyers: “Show me your KITS!: naughty latch-hook kits” and “Hot Pink Pistol.” Another young blonde coed with a bad dye job and a ripped shirt sidled up as reinforcement and haughtily asserted that, of course, the pornographic hook rug should be hanging in a museum because it is. . . art.

Then ensued a rather boringly predictable tussle about the relativity of all opinions about “art.” Still tutoring me superciliously, the faux-blonde leveled her coup de gras, informing me that my “emotional reaction” proved that this tacky piece of kitsch was akin to the statue of David.

I’m not sure which is worse: paying to take my kids to a museum and having them assaulted by pornography . . . or the elevation of Elvis on velvet to such exalted status.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my refund. Please help. The Associate Director of Education at the Austin Museum of Art is Michaela Black, at mblack@amoa.org, 512.495.9224.

UPDATE: The check is in the mail. See above.


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