Despite Trump’s ban being halted by a Federal Judge, its intentions and impact have left many, domestically and internationally, reeling. A somber sense of disenchantment about the “land of opportunity” now plagues the nation that, from its birth, was founded by and served as a sanctuary for immigrants. The United States is being led by a man set on closing its doors and shores to the very people it offered hope to, less than a year, or month, ago.
While many took to the streets to protest Donald Trump’s initial travel ban one museum decided to stage their own protest by taking the conversation to its gallery walls. Immigrants throughout history have played an integral role in the development of the United States in a variety of fields, including technology, the sciences, literature, and more. Art is no different, and the Davis Museum of Wellesley sought out to highlight this with the unveiling of its “Art-Less” initiative.
From February 16-21, the Museum is removing 120 works of art from its walls to protest Trump’s travel ban. The pieces that comprise the “de-installation” were either produced or donated by United States immigrants. Some of the 120 pieces include works produced by Willem de Kooning, Agnes Martin, Adolf Ulric Wertmüller, and others. They will either be removed completely or covered in black cloth, marked by tags that distinguish whether they were created by or given by an immigrant or both in certain cases.
The Davis Museum’s Director, Lisa Fischman, had this to say to Artsy when speaking on the institution’s protest, “We all felt we needed to respond to the concerns and anxieties raised by this executive order and wanted to find a positive way to articulate the contributions of immigrants to our sphere. And we figured that not only could we demonstrate the contributions of immigrant artists, but we could demonstrate the contributions that immigrant donors had made here as well.”
With Trump and his posse poised to make good on their promise to propose and sign-off on another executive order, the Davis Museum hopes that other institutions will take part in the “Art-Less” movement as an act of protest and have made their “immigrant labels” available via their website.
Head over to Artsy for the full story, and see how other institutions like New York’s Museum of Modern Art have also taken a stand against the ban.