On August 18, the 1882 Foundation interns presented their capstone projects at an inter(n)-generational showcase Talk Story. My project was This is America, a virtual tour of the Smithsonian American Art Museum exploring hidden Chinese American histories behind four pieces. Watch my presentation here. For more details, read the tour guide below!
Museums in America have historically been places of privilege, specifically white male privilege. While many institutions today are trying to combat this– for example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art adding “Native Perspectives” texts to some pieces– it is not enough. Perhaps one day all museums will feature a diverse variety of artists telling inclusive stories. But until then, there are still ways we can engage with museums without leaning in to their narratives. This is America explores one of those ways. By taking a piece that tells one side of history, but then using it to discuss other perspectives and concurring histories, we can create diversity.