[Ed. – Museum employees petitioned for his removal, which they called “non-negotiable.” So: defund museums, if that’s what it takes. I say that as someone who loves both art and museums. But it’s the same in educational institutions. Nothing is more important than human freedom and moral standards in how we think about each other. People should not keep getting paid after hounding others out of their jobs over psychotic absurdities like this. Hard to do with either private patrons or public funding, but it’s better than continuing, willy-nilly, to fund the institutions that attack free speech and ideas with impunity.]
Until last week, Gary Garrels was senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). He resigned his position after museum employees circulated a petition that accused him of racism and demanded his immediate ouster.
“Gary’s removal from SFMOMA is non-negotiable,” read the petition. “Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?”
This accusation—that Garrels’ choices as an art curator are guided by white supremacist beliefs—is a very serious one. Unsurprisingly, it does not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.