[Ed. – No need to look far.]
The administration of Donald Trump, avowedly opposed to uncomfortable facts, will not be any friendlier to art. Reports indicate that the president will likely make cuts to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, a move that, while financially painful, is also symbolic of a new official heartlessness. Art demands contemplation and enforces empathy. It is therefore dangerous stuff.
It’s no surprise, then, that museums have become flashpoints for the anti-Trump resistance. The Museum of Modern Art responded to Trump’s executive order banning travel into the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries by featuring works by artists from those nations, like the Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salahi. Other museums have done their own part, with the Brooklyn Museum, for example, holding a reading of “Let America Be America Again,” by Langston Hughes. “New York Museums Signal Their Resistance to Trump,” read a headline in The New Yorker.
The newest member of this artistic resistance is the Museum of the City of New York. Housed in a neo-Georgian mansion on the Upper East Side, across from Central Park, the museum is not known as a space where politics frequently intrude…