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If Patti Smith is bothered by the National Portrait Gallery controversy, she isn’t saying.
The rock legend and recent author is speaking on Saturday at the museum in support of Just Kids, her National Book Award–winning memoir about her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, with whom she shared an address at the Chelsea Hotel for many years.
A spokesperson for Smith’s publisher said that she was not commenting on the decision by the Smithsonian Institution to censor an artwork targeted by conservative anti-gay advocates. She will speak as planned on Saturday at 2 p.m..
Mapplethorpe’s photography was the subject of the last censorship crisis in D.C., a notorious 1989 episode in which the Corcoran Gallery of Art bowed to perceived pressure from Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and canceled an exhibit of his work.