MUSEUMS AS SITES OF PROTEST: EFFICACY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN 20TH AND 21ST CENTURY AMERICAN ART MUSEUMS
AuthorSquires, Ryann Nicole
AdvisorRomano, Irene Bald
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe colonial connotations and motivations of museums are well-established both in and outside of museum communities. However, despite these connotations, I argue that museums are spaces primed for the advocacy and advancement of social protest. The museum as a space is itself an actor in social protest that holds rhetorical, liminal, and symbolic power. This thesis focuses specifically on American art museums in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, examining four case studies of museums' interactions with protest—be they internal, external, or occupational—that work to construct an “un-model” of museum protest. This “un-model” consists of four “targets” that take the form of questions with the purpose of encouraging museums to re-examine the power they hold and consistently dismiss in the context of protest. Ultimately, this thesis argues that museums not only have a choice to correct and redeem their violent and colonial histories, but they have the unique opportunity to amplify this choice by fulfilling their pre-existing potential as integral utilities in liberation struggles and in social protest.
Degree ProgramArt History