Florida Department of Education Declares ‘Artistic Value’ of Michelangelo’s David Amid Controversy

Call it the new epic of David: Michelangelo’s marble man is once again in the headlines, as the Florida Department of Education declares the statue’s “artistic” and “historical value”.   

“Florida encourages instruction on the classics and classical art, and would not prohibit its use in instruction,” Alex Lanfranconi, communications director for the Florida Department of Education, said in a statement shared by Florida’s Voice.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

The tale of Hope Carrasquilla, a Florida principal forced to resign last month after showing sixth graders an image of the Renaissance sculpture, has lately riveted the internet, spawning think pieces and even a Saturday Night Live skit. It was probably inevitable, given the obvious ingredients for virality: the setting, Florida (a perennial source of controversy), male nudity (self-explanatory) and—on a serious note—its centrality to debates unfolding in the American South over what constitutes “age-appropriate” education.

In a widely quoted interview with Slate, the chair of the school’s board, Barney Bishop III, said the issue was not with David, but rather the “egregious” failure to warn parents about their children seeing the “potentially controversial” artwork. 

The charter school follows the “classical education curriculum model” that stresses a return to “core virtues” and the “centrality of the Western tradition”. Amid conservative criticism that public education has in recent years focused too heavily on social issues of race and gender identity, Republican lawmakers in Florida have pushed to mandate classical education courses in the secondary school system. 

“We’re not going to have courses from the College Board,” Bishop told Slate. “We’re not going to teach 1619 or CRT crap. I know they do all that up in Virginia. The rights of parents, that trumps the rights of kids. Teachers are the experts? Teachers have all the knowledge? Are you kidding me?”

The educators at Hillsdale College, a Michigan Christian college, ended its relationship with the Florida charter school over the drama. It will no longer be able to use Hillsdale College’s classical education curriculum, as its license was “revoked and will expire at the end of the school year,” a spokesperson for the college said.

The Florida Department of Education, meanwhile, has made it clear that—for now—the state government cannot forbid teaching Renaissance art. “The matter at Tallahassee Classical School is between the school and an employee, and is not the effect of state rule or law,” the department said.

Source: artnews.com

No votes yet.
Please wait...