Following concerns

News from museum world:

A museum in London is closing one of its main exhibitions following concerns over “racist, sexist and ableist theories and language”.

The Wellcome Collection says the Medicine Man display is ending after a 15-year run. Founder Henry Wellcome, who died in 1936, collected more than a million objects to give an insight into global health and medicine. The museum has marked the closure as a “significant turning point”.

Controversial objects include a 1916 painting titled “A Medical Missionary Attending to a Sick African” which depicts an African person kneeling in front of a white missionary.

It’s pretty obvious why that would be controversial. I wonder if they could just mark it historical with a note that views and attitudes have changed.

The museum¬†said in a statement on Twitter:¬†“We can’t change our past. But we can work towards a future where we give voice to the narratives and lived experiences of those who have been silenced, erased and ignored.

“We tried to do this with some of the pieces in Medicine Man using artist interventions. But the display still perpetuates a version of medical history that is based on racist, sexist and ableist theories and language.”

At least they didn’t say “transphobic theories and language.”

I don’t know. I’m seeing a lot of skepticism, but maybe the Wellcome would benefit from some updating. Then again maybe the people doing the updating will be a shade too righteous or smug or both to do a good job of it.

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