Dear Mr. Closter, Director Of The Smithsonian Affiliations Department,
My name is Julian Raven, artist and painter of the Trump Portrait and Painting 'Unafraid And Unashamed'. I had recently applied to the National Portrait Gallery through the Smithsonian Affiliate, the Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York. After a chilly reception and an inference that 'because the painting is political' by Patty Campbell, the Smithsonian liaison at the Rockwell, they would not be be able to help since they were a 'non profit'. I immediately reminded Ms. Campbell that they had recently had Kal Penn speak at the Rockwell Museum. Mr. Penn was an Obama surrogate, a former White House Director Of Public Engagement, a speaker at the DNC and a Bernie Sanders supporter in the past election. He was invited to speak at the Rockwell Museum on October the 28th, 2016 just a week before the November Election! Mr. Penn spoke on 'art and politics!' That excuse obviously did not fly!
Director Swain later informed me by email that they would not be able to assist me in submitting my application because they do not have the resources! Please read the email below.
"Thank you for your interest in The Rockwell Museum. While your involvement with the arts is appreciated, The Rockwell simply does not have the resources to assist you with your project.
Your materials will be available for pick-up at the Museum reception desk. Best of luck with your endeavors," Kristin Swain.
I was simply asking for my application to be submitted, which is basically forwarding an email, like this one, clicking the send button! I had offered the Rockwell different levels of involvement if they wished(Please read email below) at such a historically significant time, which they could chose to do or not, or just simply forward the application to the right person and department.
Director Swain's claim to resource poverty as their excuse to not assist me is outrageous! I spoke will Kal Penn's talent agency today and they informed me that it would cost at least $60,000.00 to have Mr. Penn come and speak at an event in our area! The Rockwell Museum has an 'Executive Liaison' position as well and Director Swain pleads poverty of resources!
According to the Rockwell website, the "‘Smithsonian Affiliations, Established in 1996, is designed to facilitate a two way relationship among Smithsonian Affiliates and the Smithsonian to increase discovery and inspire learning in communities across America.” It also says "Advancing a mission of ‘art about the American experience is a shared goal of both The Rockwell And Smithsonian Affiliation. Together, the Rockwell and the Smithsonian Institution are positioned to exhibit works that depict American culture and document our countries evolving experience.” And my Trump Painting does not fit this definition of purpose?
The Rockwell Museum is obviously not interested in assisting me on this historic American creative journey, a journey of a newborn American citizen, fully involved in the 'Art Of Politics', supported by elected representatives of over 200,000 people, and in an area that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, but they will pay $60,000.00 to have a left wing activist, Hollywood celebrity come and speak right before the election! I think the reasons are obvious and evince a design to squelch knowledge and information that they disagree with and obviously dislike!
The short response from Director Swain at the Rockwell Museum fails to even acknowledge the Trump story or The Trump painting, again causing one to wonder about how seriously they understand or even appreciate art unless of course it fits their political agenda! That position is fine if they openly state their bias and support that side of the political spectrum. But pretending to be open to all persuasions and yet failing to be true to that position is very disturbing to me!
Something the very founder of the Smithsonian, Mr. James Smithson, declared was the very purpose of the Smithsonian Museum. “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” James Smithson.
My 13 page application, prints of the painting, supported by many letters of recommendation from elected representatives of over 200,000 constituents was rejected because of a 'poverty of resources!' The Rockwell has shown no interest in the story, or obviously even an interest in showing my painting to the vastly pro Trump area in which we live since they have had over a year to do it!
I am thus issuing a formal complaint against the Rockwell Museum, Director Swain And Patty Campbell for deliberately rejecting my pro Trump story, my political views and my art and failing in their role as a Smithsonian Institute affiliate since it is an obvious censorship of knowledge!
I hereby request that you would please forward this application to the appropriate persons at the National Portrait Gallery. This application has also been forwarded to Senator David Perdue who sits on the board of Regents at the Smithsonian Institute and to the Trump Campaign and those representatives who have supported this effort.
Sincerely grateful for your time,
PART 1 Of the Application To The Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Through Affiliate Rockwell Museum.
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW.
Within the same day, Mr. Closter had forwarded the email to Director Sajet at the National Portrait Gallery.
Dear Director Swain,
My name is Julian Raven, artist and painter of the Trump Portrait & Painting, 'Unafraid And Unashamed'. My studio is located in Elmira, New York. Since The Rockwell Museum recently became a Smithsonian Affiliate, it made sense to approach you first about my application to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, wishing to involve the regional art community on this historic journey. The details and specifics about the application are contained in the attached application document. (Please read)
My desire to make the submission to the Smithsonian through the Rockwell Museum Of Art has a multitude of potentially beneficial results that can positively affect the Twin Tiers region. First and foremost, this submission is supported by elected representatives (please see the attached letters, more are on their way.) from the region, which represent over 200,000 constituents. This support demonstrates the understanding of our recently re-elected Republican representatives, Senator Tom O'Mara, Congressman Reed and others of this historic creative journey that I find myself on, as a newborn US citizen residing in upstate New York, Artist and grassroots Trump political activist. Their unanimous support brings a new level of recognition to this already nationally recognized work of art.
Through the local submission of The Trump Portrait & Painting 'Unafraid And Unashamed', the arts in the region will be able to celebrate this great story that has found its genesis right here in Elmira, New York. With all of the negatives spoken about our region, the economic depression, the 'brain drain' and the many other upstate New York struggles we face as residents, this story will bring another layer of contradiction to the often times hopeless prevailing attitude, which as with all positive and powerful creative stories, will inspire others to dream again!
For a local Elmira Artist to have his work on show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President Elect Donald J. Trump will be a great accomplishment both for my self as a professional artist and for the City Of Elmira, the Rockwell Museum Of Art and the surrounding region.
Economically, this story has the potential to assist our locally distressed economies on a practical business level as well. Since the region is filled with many vacant commercial properties, my story of the transformation of my forgotten downtown Elmira art studio has the potential to highlight the great things that can be accomplished with the affordable commercial properties that are available locally. From a semi-abandoned building to its ongoing renovation to the creation of a historically significant work of art, others can be inspired to do the same, thus stimulating investment upstate. Since I secured the 6000 sq. ft. space to permit me to paint huge paintings, this direction was conducive to me painting the huge Trump Painting, 'Unafraid And Unashamed'. Great things can still be done in Elmira and beyond!
The involvement for the arts in the region by the participation of the Rockwell Museum Of Art will bring a new level of accomplishment for our local arts community on the national stage. This request is also an invitation to you and the Rockwell Museum to join me on this journey to Washington D.C. We can discuss at your convenience the different levels of engagement that Museum can have by assisting me in this effort. From the application process to actually being present and a participant at the National Portrait Gallery for the unveiling ceremony to be held in D.C. the week of the inauguration of President Elect Donald J. Trump.
This collaboration and potential participation with the Rockwell Museum of Art now depends upon you. Due to the time constraints and the fast approaching inauguration, please let me know as soon as possible the level of involvement, if any that you would like to have. I have 5 application packages I would like to give to you with hard copies of the application, letters of recommendation and prints of the Trump Painting for yourselves and to be submitted to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's curatorial department. This email can also be forwarded for that purpose.
If you decide to assist me in this endeavor, please indicate a time when you would like to visit my art studio to see the Trump Portrait and Painting, 'Unafraid And Unashamed'. If you decide it is not something that you are interested in then please inform me immediately so I may pursue other avenues.
Sincerely grateful for your time,
What followed is the interaction Artist Julian Raven had with Director Kim Sajet the very next day.
Application to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Part 1.
After submitting my application to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery through the local Smithsonian Affiliate, The Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York, the response was typical of a liberally biased institution. On the heels of having Hollywood actor, celebrity, Obama surrogate, White House Director of Public Engagement, Bernie Sanders supporter and political activist Kal Penn speak at the Rockwell Museum on the 28th of October 2016, just days before the election and to the tune of $60,000.00 according to Kal Penn's talent agency, the Rockwell rejected the application citing a poverty of resources prohibited them from assisting in the application! Please see the emails below.
In response to this outrageous email, artist Julian Raven filed a formal complaint with the Smithsonian Affiliate Program Director Harold Closter.
The Trump Painting By Artist Julian Raven from New York. The Trump Painting was on display at the 2016 RNC in Cleveland New York. The Trump Portrait was seen at the New York Delegation's hotel in the center of Cleveland. The Trump painting was also part of a 5 second video show at the RNC convention. The video by Trump Executive Lynne Patton featured the image of the Trump Painting on the side of the Trump Truck.
The Trump Painting and The Trump Presidential Portrait webpage. The Trump Painting has been on a prophetic journey since its creation back in the summer of 2015. Trump Painting, Trump Portrait and Trump Presidential Painting. Historic painting by artist Julian Raven, the Trump Painting has been seen across the country. The Trump Painting portrays Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. You may ask where is The Trump Painting located? The Trump Portrait is presently on show at the artist's studio in Elmira, New York. A copy of The Trump Painting hangs proudly in the new Trump Campaign headquarters located in Trump Tower in New York City.