The Brooklyn Museum in New York City has sparked outrage among members of the black community after it selected a white woman to curate its African art exhibit.
The museum announced Monday that it tapped Kristen Windmuller-Luna, 31, to be in charge of the museum’s African art collection.
Luna earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University in African art history, worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an educator “responsible for adult and college gallery tours” of the museum’s African galleries, and lectures at Columbia University.
But despite the woman’s impressive credentials, social media users have been criticizing the museum for hiring her because she is not “a person of color.”
BETTER HEADLINE: "Brooklyn Museum Welcomes Two New Cultural Colonizers for African Art and Photography"
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) March 27, 2018
“Seriously, @brooklynmuseum? There goes the neighborhood for good,” Philadelphia journalist Ernest Owens wrote on Twitter.
“People from the African Diaspora are frustrated w/white people being gatekeepers of our narrative,” Kimberly Seldon tweeted.
The Brooklyn Museum defended its choice to hire Luna “because of her track record as an innovator” in the field and said that it was “committed to equity.”
“Kristen is the perfect choice to build upon the Brooklyn Museum’s track record as an innovator in the collection and exhibition of the arts of Africa,” Jennifer Chi, the museum’s chief curator, said in a statement to the New York Post.
After receiving lots of backlash over its hiring decision, the museum posted an updated statement Thursday stating that it was monitoring the debate over the recent hires and it is “committed to equity” in the workplace.
We are listening and we hear you. Please find our response about our recent curatorial appointments below. For more information, please see our press release: https://t.co/qs3uCxIgt9 pic.twitter.com/nVI8CTyC4g
— Brooklyn Museum (@brooklynmuseum) March 29, 2018
“We’re listening and we hear you. As we think about ways to engage in this conversation with the care it deserves, we want to assure you that you can count on us, as ever, to continue working deeply on equity within our institution and beyond,” the museum tweeted.