The Smithsonian Won’t Accept Trump’s Portrait. Here’s Why.
What is the Smithsonian? A public museum? A place to go on an eighth-grade field trip?
Many people think that the Smithsonian is part of the federal government – but it’s not. It is actually a private foundation that is run by the federal government. Since it’s run by the federal government, the Smithsonian Institute should be all about freedom of speech, right? Wrong.
Julian Raven has firsthand experience with the Smithsonian violating his freedom of speech. Painter of the most recognized portrait of President Trump, Raven attempted to get the artwork featured at the Smithsonian at Trump’s inauguration in 2016.
The response was a hard no.
The blatant discrimination against the artwork simply because it was of President Trump is what led Raven to begin a lawsuit against the Smithsonian, that he is still currently fighting, he told Big League Politics.
Raven’s artwork was publicly supported in New York where he gained over 200 thousand signatures on a petition asking the Smithsonian to feature the portrait in their gallery. The petition included signatures from elected officials and many wrote letters of support, recommending that the painting be displayed at the time of the inauguration.
Raven went through all the proper channels of submitting his artwork to the Institute. Finding at each step of the way, that those with decision making power in the Smithsonian, just really do not like President Trump. After receiving a nasty phone call from Kim Sajet, the National Portrait Gallery Director, Raven was shocked at the way he was treated, he expressed to BLP.
Sajet’s first complaint was that the portrait was too big. Interestingly, the Smithsonian hung a giant Obama portraits displayed for 2013 President Obama inauguration both around 6×8′, close to the size of the Trump painting.
The second complaint was that the Trump portrait was not “taken from life”. Yet, the Smithsonian hung the famous “Hope” portrait of Barrack Obama that definitely was not “taken from life,” according to Raven’s website.
In fact, street artist Shepherd Fairey was convicted for lying about photoshopping an original AP photo to create the iconic Obama poster.
A third and fourth complaint from Sajet was that the Trump portrait was “too pro-Trump” and “too political”. While “both Hillary and Obama’s 2008 political art was accepted and/or displayed at the National Portrait Gallery establishing legal precedent for political free speech to be expressed at the portrait gallery,” the Trump portrait was deemed “too political”.
Interestingly, the Smithsonian is perfectly fine with hanging any damaging artwork towards Donald Trump as the painting below was accepted into The Smithsonian Folk Art Museum, before it was stolen.
Since all else failed, Sajet decided to handle the request with a middle-school attitude, targeting the artwork as “no good”. But the Statue of Liberty punching Trump in the face painting that looks like it was completed as a 10th grade art project was deemed good enough?
You can’t make this stuff up.
The detail in this painting, including its hidden pro-life message, are outstanding. The piece of artwork took over 600 hours to complete. Anti-Trump-artwork-dictator Kim Sajet is really throwing a fit about not letting this piece of work hang in the Smithsonian because it celebrate America. And we know how liberals feel about American flag and eagles. That represents too much freedom for them to handle.
Taking a look into Kim Sajet a little further, we see that Sajet is always been against President Trump and on the super liberal side. Tweeting out a very negative article about President Trump from the official @NPGDirector Twitter account, Sajet faced backlash from it.
The website describes another incident, “Anti-Trump Smithsonian @NPGDirector Kim Sajet January 21st, 2017 at Anti-Trump Women’s March on D.C. tweeting to official Smithsonian twitter page until a Hatch Act Investigation forced the Smithsonian to change the legal ownership from property belonging to the American People to that of a non-U.S. Citizen in order to protect her biased anti-Trump arbitrary decisions.”
“When a federal officer, the director of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the curator of our American pictorial history can go to a hostile anti-Trump rally and tweet directly to the official Smithsonian Twitter feed and get away with it, you know that the D.C. swamp is far reaching and very deep.”
The Smithsonian belongs to the American people. Being run by the federal government indicates that Raven can exercise his freedom of speech. Not being accepted or considered simply because it is of different political ideologies than those who have all the deciding power, this painting is being discriminated against. The Smithsonian is supposed to represent history – not just the history that Kim Sajet agrees with.
Big League Politics will have more as the court case for free speech continues. To keep up with the lawsuit, visit Julian Raven’s website here.
A very triggered Kim Sajet summed up why the Trump painting isn’t in the Smithsonian as she told Raven, “I’m the director of national portrait gallery, your portrait is going to go nowhere, you can repeal it all you want.” Looks like someone is really suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. Prayers up for Sajet.
WATCH a detailed video explaining each step Raven has taken and and the pushback he has faced to get the Trump Portrait in the Smithsonian.