Black Lives Matter and the Art World

The killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter campaign have had a dramatic impact on political and economic activity in the U.S. and elsewhere and led to considerations of the social, economic, and psychological legacies of slavery and racism.  The conversation about injustice by Westerners is taking many forms, peaceful and violent. One of the forms, peripheral if not central to the main issue, is consideration of the heritage of colonialism, specifically the relationship between colonialism and racism by Western countries and the holdings of African artifacts.  As a result, a new spotlight has been shone on what has been an increasingly controversial issue in modern times: the considerable extent of black artifacts in Western museums. Inevitably, this complex issue involves the purpose of museums, whether as depositories of art of individual nations or as displaying specimens of the culture of the world.  The great Western museums in the...(Read Full Article)
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