San Diego’s “Museum of Man” is being changed to “Museum of Us” in what is described as a move toward decolonization.
The museum said the name change was necessary because the old title had a gender problem.
The museum added that the updated title reflects a greater effort to redefine itself in an age of social justice reckonings where, frequently, political correctness has run amok.
“Change is hard, and change is messy,”Micah Parzen, the museum’s CEO, told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “but it can be transformational, too. That’s what we’re aiming for.”
The cultural anthropological museum started out as an exhibit at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and drew about 230,000 visitors each year before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The museum has been moving away from displaying “ancient civilizations” as bodies and their personal objects and is moving towards “community conversations,” according to the Tribune.
“Museums like ours emerged out of the colonial experience,” Parzen said. “To the victor go the spoils. We know now how problematic that is.”
Parzen’s leadership has cost the museum some big-time donors because of his “politically correct” stance, as critics say he is misguided for rewriting history.
But his leadership has also earned the museum a national reputation among cultural institutions as one of the leaders of the “decolonization movement,” which is gaining attention with these riots across the country to take down many monuments dedicated to important cultural figures.