I realize this may be shocking to some of you, but the brain trust at the very woke Baltimore Museum of Art, in the nation’s cleanest, most law-abiding and best-managed city, has become even more woke, (or woker, workier, wokey). BMA Director Christopher Bedford (who could be suffering from guilt for his apparent gender and skin color) and those who report to this privileged white male, including BMA Chief Curator Asma Naeem (who clearly deserves the BMA’s directorship much more) have decided not to purchase any artwork in 2020 if it was created by a…wait for it…a man!
One must assume that this means a cis-gendered man who knows that he was born a man with the generally accepted anatomical features associated with being a male of the human species and prefers to be recognized and behave as a male and not necessarily males who prefer to identify or behave as females (or their flouncy, flamboyant conception of females) or perhaps even other species (I’m obviously very concerned about the under-representation of our Otherkin community).
Per Director Bedford:
“This is how you raise awareness and shift the identity of an institution. You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko. To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”
Totally radical, man…of white privilege. Totally. No mention of Otherkins, though. Pity.
And Ms. Naeem added (emphasis mine):
“The challenges are systemic and widespread, because many of the works in local donors, local patrons’ collections are traditionally made by male artists. There are these various subtle but consistent, pervasive markers of what is considered creative achievement, and we are trying to reset all of those markers.”
What those “subtle but consistent, pervasive markers of what is considered creative achievement” are exactly Ms. Naeem does not explain. But it would be just like a white Scottish-Irish-German-American man of it must-be-said, questionable privilege, to insist that a woman of color clarify what the heck she is talking about. Shame on me.
It should be clear, from Ms. Naeem and Director Bedford (her boss man) then that local donors and local patrons are responsible in maintaining the oppressive patriarchy by controlling what people see and thus warping the minds of successive generations of oppressed women especially to venerate primarily the artistic works of white men. It is, well, simply outrageous that museums and art galleries like the BMA have been bullied for decades to conform to these male-dominated attitudes. Obviously, white men, and no doubt very powerful, wealthy and arrogant white men, whether museum curators, collectors, donors, patrons (not matrons, of course), robber barons, philanthropists, and other vile and disgusting males, have, over the centuries, oppressed women, particularly women of color (one would assume skin colors like yellow ochre, raw umber, burnt sienna, and various pigments of black) throughout the fine arts, in an effort to keep their artistic visions from being seen and their voices from being heard. Oh, the injustice! I’m verklempt.
Hopefully, these paintings in the BMA of privileged white men will be taken down immediately and permanently stored in a dark corner of the museum’s basement to avoid poisoning the minds of visitors. Why in the world, they were allowed to be shown in the first place boggles the mind.
A 2019 study of 18 major U.S. art museums found that 87% of artists in their collections are men, and 85% of the artists are white. Another study earlier this year found that up to 10% of art galleries don’t have a single woman among the artists they represent.
A long-standing gender imbalance needs to be corrected and corrected it shall be as NPR continues to “report”:
The BMA isn’t alone in working to correct this longstanding gender imbalance. The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington has 5,500 objects in its collections and presents 10 exhibits featuring female artists each year.
BMA chief curator Asma Naeem told The Washington Post that the 2020 program is an effort at “re-correcting the canon.”
Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Victor Hugo, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and hundreds of other white males have been successfully purged from several humanities courses on college campuses in the United States and Canada in an effort to re-correct the longstanding gender-imbalanced canon of literature, it was only a matter of time that the art world
man-up woman-up and follow suit.