How Museums Are Responding to the Proposed ‘Art Strike’

A photo taken from the inside of a museum.

Photo credit: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock

Artists are using the power of social media to launch a strike against Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. The campaign, called Art Strike, was initially started on Facebook. It calls upon artists, museums, galleries, theaters, and cultural institutions to close on January 20 in protest of Inauguration Day.

But for being so highly talked about, the Facebook event only has a mere 672 confirmed attendees. An additional 738 people reported being interested, and more than 4,000 were invited but have yet to respond. That’s pretty low engagement for an event that’s being spearheaded by some well-respected names in the industry.

Like much of the country, museums are pretty divided on the issue. Some have pledged to remain open, while others have vowed to close. A few museums are taking a more “middle-ground” approach by offering either free or reduced admission. The following comprises a list of museums as well as their policies for January 20:

Free Admission:

  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis
  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Pay-What-You-Wish Admission:

  • The Whitney Museum
  • Museum of Arts and Design in New York
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Closed:

  • National Museum of Women in the Arts (offering free admission on Jan. 21 & 22).
  • National Museum of the American Indian and the Renwick Gallery (both part of the Smithsonian).

Open:

  • Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Studio Museum in Harlem
  • The Broad, Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art

As you can see, there’s a pretty diverse range of policies. Personally, I don’t hold any ill will towards those museums that are retaining normal business hours and operations. I understand how closing or offering reduced admission rates could be interpreted as “taking a side.” From their perspective, they want to remain as non-partisan as possible.

Those are my thoughts. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the strike?

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About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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