Here’s Provocative Art That Really Provokes, And How Two Museums Are Handling It (Carefully)

At the University of Kansas’s Spencer Museum, one of the 16 flags in the project “Pledges of Allegiance” drew enough anger that the university president ordered it taken off the flagpole. The Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin is displaying The City, Vincent Valdez’s life-size painting of a modern-day Ku Klux Klan […]

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Is UNESCO World Heritage Status A Kiss Of Death For Sites In Developing Countries?

Looking at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Luang Prabang in Laos, and the Vietnamese town of Hoi An (whose historic buildings and streetscape miraculously survived the 20th-century wars), art and cultural management professor Jo Caust argues that the mass tourism that comes with the coveted World Heritage designation can turn such places into theme parks and […]

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Could This Be How To Organize A Museum For The 21st-Century Age Of Migration?

A new exhibition in Hamburg by curator Roger M. Buergel (still known for his provocative Documenta 12 in 2007) “delivers on its contention that European museums need to do much more than just restitute plundered objects in their collections, important as that is. A 21st-century universal museum has to unsettle the very labels that the […]

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Arts Orgs Fear They Simply Can’t Afford To Turn Down Donations From Ethically Dubious Sources

“Although the vast majority are concerned that taking the ‘wrong’ sort of money could damage their reputation, just one in four report that their organisation has any sort of ethical fundraising policy. The findings emerge out of a survey of over 500 arts workers who shared their views on ethical fundraising and sponsorship. Their comments […]

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Controversial Statue Of Stephen Foster In Pittsburgh Comes Down

“The move followed an October decision by the Pittsburgh Art Commission, which found that the statue should be removed within six months and hosted in a private, ‘properly contextualized’ location. Many residents have held that the sculpture – showing a shoeless African-American banjo player seated at the famed composer’s feet – is condescending or outright […]

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First Museum To Victims Of Lynching Opens In Alabama

“After two years of planning and construction, and having raised an estimated $20m from Google, the Ford Foundation and private philanthropists such as the billionaire activist siblings Pat and Jon Stryker, the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice [in Montgomery] will be inaugurated with a two-day ‘peace and justice summit’ starting […]

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