It makes me think of other famous art world walkouts like (I wasn’t there) when Sidney Janis introduced Pop Art with his international “New Realists” exhibition (among the 54 artists shown: Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Richard Lindner, Wayne Thiebaud, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Tom Wesselmann, George Segal, Yves Klein, Arman, and Christo) prompting a dramatic walkout from the gallery by AbExer’s Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston and Robert Motherwell (only de Kooning stayed on).And when I came from Chicago to work at Artforum in 1976, smoke was still hovering from the Lynda Benglis scandal, over an ad for which she posed nude with a gold-plated dildo, an event that caused Contributing Editors Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson to quit and three others, Lawrence Alloway, Max Kozloff, Joseph Masheck, to write a letter to the editor, then John Coplans, protesting this “object of extreme vulgarity”—which just looks funny now.
While I like learning about these “walk outs” I think that in context it isn’t really applicable. These were people who were standing up for their own tastes (albeit poor in my opinion) in art and what they believed in. At the time of both of these situations, they were untested, new, and reactionary to what had come before. Paul Schimmel, on the other hand, is tried and true. A huge history of amazing work that is universally loved and the artists are protesting his unceremonious departure, not someone/thing new’s introduction.