One historian argued last week that museums should reconsider their European art exhibits in light of the rise of extremist groups around the globe.
Historian Alexander Kauffman published a column in a niche art magazine on Christmas warning museum curators about the impact of their European Art collections. Kauffman argues that racists use European Art to defend beliefs about racial superiority.
“European painting and sculpture has formed the core of our museums since they were founded. These works usually inhabit the largest and most central galleries in buildings that are themselves European in style, modeled after the great royal and imperial collections of England, France, and Germany. Because the centering of Europe is baked into the architecture of these institutions, some may not see the connection to white supremacy today,” Kauffman wrote. “But white supremacists do. Europe’s cultural prestige is their evidence for the racial superiority of white America.”