Questions Raised Over Bill Cosby Art Collection on Exhibit at Smithsonian

Part of the William H.  and Camille O.  Cosby Collection, this oil on canvas work by Henry Ossawa Tanner is titled "The Thankful Poor."
Part of the William H. and Camille O. Cosby Collection, this oil on canvas work by Henry Ossawa Tanner is titled "The Thankful Poor."
(image: National Museum of African American Art)

Accusations of sexual assault lodged at comedian Bill Cosby have not derailed an exhibition of artworks from his collection on view in DC.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art's 50th anniversary exhibition shows works from Bill and Camille Cosby's African-American art collection along with works from the museum's own collections. The display is raising eyebrows for reasons other than the allegations against Cosby.

A private collection displayed in a national museum is frowned on by some critics who point out that such an exhbiti can enhance the artwork's market value. On top of that, Camille Cosby is a museum trustee and initiated the loan, possibly a conflict of interest.

The AP has also recently reported that the Cosbys funded the exhibit to the tune of $716,000.

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