Philadelphia Museum of Art Facebook post removed for 'suggestive content'

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art says one of its posts was taken down for suggestive content.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art uses its social media accounts to promote its collections, upcoming exhibits and events. But one of its posts recently got some unwanted attention from Facebook administrators.

The museum posted an image of Evelyne Axell's 1964 work "Ice Cream," which was later removed by the social-networking site, to highlight its upcoming International Pop exhibit.

The photo was "removed by Facebook for 'containing excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content,' " the museum wrote in a new post Friday, which also contains the photo.

The museum's new post includes more details on the artwork: " 'Ice Cream' (1964) was painted by Evelyne Axell, one of the first female Pop artists. Her work can be understood as a critique of mainstream Pop Art, in which women were often depicted as passive, decorative objects. In contrast, Axell sought to depict active, confident women who pursue satisfaction on their own terms—such as the protagonist of "Ice Cream," who unabashedly enjoys her dessert. Axell’s provocative paintings challenge artistic conventions while also exhibiting a liberated, playful spirit characteristic of the sexual revolution of the 1960s."

The piece is one of the 120 works that make up the upcoming exhibit International Pop opening Feb. 24. The PMA is the only venue on the East Coast for the exhibition, which chronicles pop art's global emergence from 1956 to 1972.

Curator Erica Battle said in an email that "Ice Cream" was picked as one of the main marketing images for the exhibition "because it speaks to so many themes found throughout Pop: consumption, pleasure, and seduction."

Battle added: "The response to her work on Facebook reflects how these themes interweave to form a complex, probing investigation into social politics that is incredibly relevant to today's digital world in which we are all compelled to share and comment on images of all kinds."

International Pop, which will run through May 15, also features works from artists that include Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Ed Ruscha, Richard Hamilton, Pauline Boty, Peter Blake, and Clive Barker, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Konrad Lueg, Ushio Shinohara, Keiichi Tanaami, Osamu Tezuka, Hélio Oiticica, Wanda Pimentel, Antonio Dias, Marta Minujín, Dalila Puzzovio and Edgardo Giménez.

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