Ga. official to remove lobby paintings

Doesn't depict Georgia, new Ag Commissioner Black says

ATLANTA - The incoming agriculture commissioner wants to remove paintings he considers "undesirable" that were meant to show the history of Georgia farming.


Commissioner-elect Gary Black told WXIA-TV that seven pictures in the lobby of the Agriculture Department in Atlanta will go into storage. The Republican takes office next month.


The paintings by George Beattie have been in the lobby for half a century. Two paintings depict slavery, which was allowed in Georgia until the practice was outlawed after the Civil War.


Another shows partially clothed American Indians.


Black said several scenes "are not acceptable today" and don't represent modern agriculture.


Atlanta sculptor George Beasley, a friend of the painter, said the artist tried to show the whole picture of Georgia farming. He said the work should remain on display.

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