The Davis Museum: Art Without Immigrants

On January 27th, 2017, Donald Trump signed an executive order that prevented immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S. Consequently, this legislation caused U.S airports to deny and detain entry to those affected by the order. However, a federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocked President Trump’s enforcement of the travel ban. From February 16th through this upcoming President's Day, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College in Massachusetts will no longer be displaying artwork created or donated by immigrants in protest of Trump’s travel ban.

They’re calling this initiative Artless. The curators of the museum will be draping black cloth over every showcase and will line the walls of the museum with labels that either say “created by an immigrant” or “given by an immigrant.” One of the main pieces taken down was a portrait of George Washington created by Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller. Not only was the piece created by an immigrant who came to America during the 1790's, but it was donated to the museum by an immigrant family. About 20% of the art that has been shown at the museum has been created or donated by immigrant artists. By taking down these pieces, the Davis Museum is demonstrating how empty their gallery would look without immigrants' contributions. The main purpose of the Artless exhibit is to honor the immigrants’ invaluable gifts and to highlight the great impact that they have on the world

Text by Briana Woodroffe
Image from the Davis Museum 

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