The Easel

This painting might be sexually disturbing. But that’s no reason to take it out of a museum

Balthus had a thing about adolescent girls. Amid the furor about sexual abuse and #MeToo, should New York’s Met comply with a petition and take down an apparently lascivious work? Definitely not, according to this writer. Art is full of sexual imagery. “The danger in the wings is a new Puritanism … The challenge now is to define codes of behavior without throwing out the maps that got us to the place we are now.”