HMS “Challenging Public Art” Exhibit Opens May 26; U.S. House Committee Seeks Changes in Capitol Art Interpretation

“Challenging Public Art” will run from May 26-June 30 at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis.

Healing Minnesota Stories is remounting its traveling art exhibit that highlights racist art in public spaces and offering alternative student art as one path forward.

The exhibit, “Challenging Public Art,” will run from May 26 to June 30 at First Unitarian Society, 900 Mt Curve Ave, Minneapolis. A reception will be held on Sunday, June 9, noon-1 p.m. Jim Bear Jacobs, Director of Racial Justice for the Minnesota Council of Churches and Healing Minnesota Stories founder, will speak on the exhibit.

Report: Time to Address Disrespectful Images of Native Americans in the U.S. Capitol

The painting “The Discovery of the Mississippi by DeSoto” is displayed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. (Photo by: Architect of the Capitol.)

The month, the U.S House Appropriations Committee asked the Architect of the Capitol to address offensive images of Native Americans. It was part of a longer report explaining appropriations for the Legislative Branch.

It’s a start, but only a start. It’s not asking for offensive art to be removed, only for better interpretation.

“There are depictions of Native Americans throughout the Capitol complex that do not portray Native Americans as equals or Indian nations as independent sovereigns,” the report said. “Anecdotal evidence suggests that the way these works are described during Capitol tours is not always respectful.”

The report urges the Architect of the Capitol “to work with Native American historians and professionals at the National Museum of the American Indian to ensure that the Capitol complex more accurately and respectfully represents the history of Native Americans.” It also requests the Architect “to consider displaying somewhere within the Capitol complex information correcting the sometimes incomplete or incorrect depictions of Native Americans portrayed in historical artwork,” as well as an acknowledgement in its American history exhibits “the elements that have originated from Native American cultures.”

The report notes that state and territorial flags are displayed within the Capitol complex “and encourages the Architect to consider displaying the flags of American Indian Nations and Pueblos.”

See also the HuffPost story: Time To Fix The Racist Way We Depict Native Americans In The Capitol, Say Lawmakers.

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