One Japanese man counterprotested the Kimono Wednesday protests to say he is not offended and even encouraged others to join him at future counterprotests. (via

A Japanese man counterprotested the Kimono Wednesday protests to say he is not offended and even encouraged others to join him at future counterprotests. (via

In light of the recent Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s “Kimono Wednesdays” controversy, we’d like to explore the issues of minority representation in mainstream US museums and who gets to decide how cultural artifacts are represented and presented to the public. This discussion touches on issues of postcolonial politics and US identity in the 21st century.

Join us on Wednesday, October 7 (7–8:30pm) at Livestream Public (195 Morgan Avenue) in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

The event is free, but please RSVP here.

Our confirmed panelists include:

  • Decolonize Our Museums, a Boston-based collective that spearheaded the #kimonowednesday protests
  • Ryan Wong, Brooklyn-based art writer with extensive museum experience
  • Seph Rodney, South Bronx-based arts writer born in Jamaica, who just completed his PhD at the University of London on how the museum visit is changing
  • Akiko Ichikawa, NY-based interdisciplinary visual artist and Japanese-American historian
  • Moderated by Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief

Livestream Public
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11237
L to Morgan Ave
RSVP here

There will be a cash bar on site.

Watch the video stream LIVE here.

Event updates can be found here.

Hyperallergic #ArtTalks invite leading voices in the arts to participate in intimate gatherings, with the goal of sparking discussion, debate, and further action on an evolving idea or project.

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10 replies on “Join Us to Discuss #KimonoWednesdays and the Decolonialization of Museums #ArtTalk”

  1. Video stream, Yey! Will there be a recording?
    What I find weird about the definition of Minorities, is that they HAVE to consist of astronomical numbers.
    Armenians for example, aren’t a minority, or the Romanians.
    So, it’s racist, but not all including even there.

    Can someone invite Trump?
    For whatever reason.
    Wait! He is a minority (rich) who has the majority of Republican votes so far.
    Should be fun to hear him speak about minorities in the arts.

    My favorite creative minorities: Arshile Gorky, Plastic Bertrand…

  2. Several things:
    I like video streams, but recording of events can more convenient.

    To get the status of Minority, a group has to be very large.
    Oxymoron? I know so.

    Minorities are under attack by Trump, with some degree of justification and support from his fans.

    Plastic Bernard is a French modern singer, and as such a minority among his peers.


  3. Wong already got schooled on subject this in the comments of his article. Hope he studied up mroe. And I hope Seph still holds ground. He made the best case before Wong followed up with the “but I’m Asian” card.

  4. What I’m saying is that in the U.S., I want to see art from a Western European, classical perspective. No matter the deconstructive attempts, that remains the gold standard. If some grievance monger expects to see something different, they should make it happen on their own dime.

    1. Are you saying that the only art that should be permitted to be displayed in the US is classical Western European art? I’m not a fan of the Kimono Wednesdays protests but saying that classical Western European art is the “gold standard” of art with no regard for the art of all of the other cultures of the world is pretty the “white supremacy” they were complaining about. You may think that classical Western European art is the only art worth seeing but that’s completely subjective.

        1. You do know that non-white people are Westerners too, right? POC living in the US should absolutely have parity in museums because we don’t live in the Pacific Rim, we live here. This statement is either incredibly ignorant or incredibly racist.

          1. I don’t really know what else to call your statement. You think the only art worth having in museums is “classical Western European art” because it’s your “gold standard” which means that only white folks would get representation in your fantasy museums, not any of the rest of us. It ignores the artistry of the traditions of all other peoples who all have descendants and immigrants in this country. Museums in Europe are aware that there’s incredible art from around the world and even the British Museum and the Louvre have collections from places other than Europe and are richer for it.

            Even if the US were an exclusively white country it would still behoove museums to showcase the art of other cultures. So yes, I maintain that your statement is ignorant or racist.

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