Museums have a duty to be political

Category: Community Engagement & Impact

In this article, Jillian Steinhauer shares the story of the departure of the former director of the Queens Museum in New York, Laura Raicovich, and discusses the need for museums to adopt stances on contemporary issues in order to be truly democratic spaces. Steinhauer contends that empowered museum staff must be supported by “brave boards,” working in tandem to ensure that museums are welcoming to all people, regardless of wealth, power, or privilege.

“Claiming not to take a position is actually a way of taking one—it means supporting the status quo.”

-Jillian Steinhauer

The former director of the Queens Museum in New York, Laura Raicovich, was celebrated for her political outspokenness. "At Queens Museum, the Director Is as Political as the Art" read the headline of a New York Times profile last October. Less than four months later, Raicovich abruptly announced her resignation.

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