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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has allocated $120,000 to repair and restore public statues that have been damaged or vandalized, and create new ones in an effort to “revitalize public interest in American history in advance of the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.”
The initiative seeks to restore controversial monuments like a Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore, Maryland, which protesters rolled into a harbor in July in protest of his violent history. Conversely, it supports erecting a new monument for abolitionist Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York.
These two projects were each awarded an “NEH Chairman’s Grant” of $30,000. An equal sum was allocated for the restoration of two damaged statues at the Wisconsin State Capitol: one of Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian immigrant and abolitionist who helped enslaved people escape before serving as a colonel for the Union army in the Civil War; and the statue “Forward,” commemorating women’s suffrage.
Shortly after the defacement of these two Wisconsin monuments in June, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to prosecute and punish protesters who damage federal monuments. The command reinforces existing federal law, including the Veterans’ Memorials Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003, which imposes a fine and up to 10 years in prison on anyone who damages or destroys a federal monument.
A fourth and final NEH grant of $30,000 was awarded to the Bronx Community College (BCC) in New York. The funds will support the digitization of archival photographs and materials documenting the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, featuring 98 busts of historical figures in American history in an open-air colonnade on the BCC campus.
“We cannot expect our youth to know about our history if we don’t provide them with educational materials — whether it’s films, books, or statues — to tell them about our history,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede in a statement on October 30. “NEH is pleased to provide funding to help highlight the accomplishments of the many individuals who helped build and shape our exceptional country.”
Archeologists can now prove the Vikings made landfall in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Bahamas.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.
“I am trying to keep the immediacy of my emotional experience while I’m painting.”
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.