Smithsonian: No Changes to Exhibit Cosby Founded | NBC4 Washington

Smithsonian: No Changes to Exhibit Cosby Founded

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Customers at Ben's Chili Bowl react to the criminal charge against Bill Cosby. News4's Chris Gordon reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015)

    After Bill Cosby was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home 12 years ago, the Smithsonian says there will be no changes to an art exhibit founded by Cosby and his wife, Camille.

    The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art has posted a disclaimer that says the museum does not condone Cosby's alleged behavior. That disclaimer will remain, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

    The online disclaimer reads in part, "We continue to present Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue because it is fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not Mr. Cosby."

    Part of the exhibit is from the Cosbys' private collection. The exhibit's web site says it "brings together African and African American artworks in a visual and intellectual dialogue" about a series of themes, including spirituality and music and urban culture.

    The Cosbys also gave the museum a $716,000 gift.

    The exhibit will close as scheduled, on Jan. 24.

    Meanwhile, some D.C. fans said they were disappointed in a man who they had admired.

    "I had looked up to him -- it's sad. I no longer respect him," said one woman, interviewed at Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street in northwest D.C., where a large mural of Cosby graces a wall.