History 450 - Senior Inquiry
Art and Design | Art and Materials Conservation | Arts and Humanities | Cultural History | Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law | European History | Fine Arts | History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Holocaust and Genocide Studies | Interactive Arts | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Law | Military, War, and Peace | Modern Art and Architecture | Museum Studies | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Public History
Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement
How art museums approach NLA is important today because much of the public relies on museums for their education. NLA cases are especially controversial because they are not only legal battles, but ethical ones so museums have to be extra careful approaching them. Even if the museum has won the legal battle the public may not see them as winning the ethical one therefore they might want to avoid displaying this information to the public. However, as we can see with the previous websites, it actually looks worse for museums not to be open and honest about their NLA pieces and cases because it looks like they're hiding information. Museums currently may be afraid to educate the public about their role in NLA because it could lead to lack of funding and less patrons visiting the museum. This is not a good enough reason to deny the public this information. Instead of being afraid of losing their reputation, museums need to be transparent with their viewers and educate them about the controversies surrounding NLA and its history. This is especially their responsibility because they fought in court to keep these pieces in order to educate the public about them, and it is a gross injustice to the victims of NLA to only share the aspects of the pieces' histories which keep the museum's reputations squeaky clean. Museums are also especially important educators' because they also are forms of entertainment so people are more likely to visit them. Now that we've seen the effects of a global pandemic, we have been shown how even more important the internet can be for education. Art museums as educators need to update their websites in order to inform the public about Nazi Looted art. Many of the victims of Nazi Looted art are gone so it is the art museum's responsibility to make sure their stories live on and the crimes that happened to them are not forgotten.
Augustana Digital Commons Citation
Thompson, Monica May. "The Last Prisoners of War: How Nazi-Looted Art is Displayed in U.S. Museums" (2021). Geifman Prize in Holocaust Studies.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Art and Materials Conservation Commons, Cultural History Commons, Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons, European History Commons, Fine Arts Commons, Holocaust and Genocide Studies Commons, Interactive Arts Commons, Interdisciplinary Arts and Media Commons, Military, War, and Peace Commons, Modern Art and Architecture Commons, Museum Studies Commons, Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology Commons, Public History Commons