Sensation

What Saatchi's 'Sensation' really exposed

The Virgin festooned with pornographic photos and elephant dung has come and gone. But her apparition in the Brooklyn Museum of Art left behind disquieting information, not about religion and art, but about art and money and the smug arrogance of an art world ready to offend but surprisingly unreceptive to being offended itself.

Last fall, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani demanded that the picture, The Holy Virgin Mary by...

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.