What’s in a wall text? At galleries, it may be masking an artist’s heritage

Phillips Collection

Phillips Collection, D.C./Menachem Wecker

…Across town at the Phillips Collection, wall texts accompanying the four Degas paintings on display identify the artist as Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. The Phillips also uses the full names of Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin and Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix alongside their paintings, but curiously it truncates several other artists’ names, including Ignace-Henri-Jean-Theodore Fantin-Latour, Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro, Morris Louis Bernstein, Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, and Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky. And a description plastered to the wall outside the museum’s renowned Rothko room nowhere mentions the artist’s given name: Marcus Rothkovitch.

My article, “What’s in a wall text? At galleries, it may be masking an artist’s heritage” appears in the Washington Post.

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