Taking a Stand
Doctors Ought to Care, BUGA-Up, and artists Doug Minkler and Hans Haacke ridicule art museums that take cigarette company money.
Alan Blum, MD describes the “house call” on February 26, 1983 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by members of DOC (Doctors Ought to Care) and New Jersey GASP (Group Against Smoking Pollution) to protest the sponsorship by Marlboro cigarette-maker Philip Morris of the exhibition, “The Vatican Collections; Papacy and Art.” (1:35)
“This is an example of a ‘single-day biopsy’ that I performed many times during my tracking of the tobacco industry as a parasitic disease. I planned my itinerary for the day around Philip Morris-sponsored cultural activities plus the R.J. Reynolds Winston Cup banquet at the Waldorf Astoria. I walked up to the ballroom and onto the stage where the nationally televised live Winston Cup awards banquet was all set up–taking photographs all the while. No one stopped me. This was just a few hours before the event.
“The notes are an ethnographic account of a moment in time as seen from the vantage point of a cigarette marketer.”
Alan Blum, MD