The ArtNet News | Eileen Kinsella

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says it will not remove a painting of a young girl by Balthus, Thérèse Dreaming (1938), that has been targeted by an online petition. The petition—which has garnered more than 8,700 signatures in five days—states that the Met should not “proudly display” an image that “romanticizes the sexualization of a child.” A spokesman for the Met called the controversy “an opportunity for a conversation” about the “continuing evolution of existing culture.”

Mia Merrill, a New York City resident, launched the petition on Care 2 on November 30. Since then, it has nearly reached its goal of 9,000 signatures. The petition is headlined: “Metropolitan Museum of Art: Remove Balthus’s Suggestive Painting of a Pubescent Girl, Thérèse Dreaming.” … read more 

Image | Balthus, Thérese Dreaming (1938). © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art