Paul Georges: THE MUGGING OF THE MUSE, 1972-76
oil on canvas, 79.9 x 102.7 inches
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Paul Georges’s (PG) The Mugging of the Muse was at the center of the first libel lawsuit against a painting in history. PG lost the suit in 1980, opening potential legal floodgates to the censorship of art, journalism, and freedom of speech. PG hired the expensive and brilliant premiere civil rights and First Amendment attorneys Victor Kovner and Harriette Dorsen, who helped him win on appeal protection of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. The legal ordeal that began in 1974 ended in 1982.