Will a debate over terminology at the Art Gallery of Ontario help the progress of artists who are underrepresented in United States museums?
July 13, 2018
TORONTO — A group of visitors young and old gathered at the Art Gallery of Ontario in front of a well-known Canadian painting the docent called “Church in Yuquot Village.”
It was a peaceful 1929 image by a national figure, Emily Carr, showing a Mowachaht/Muchalaht settlement she had visited on Vancouver Island. The docent was careful to talk about Carr’s close relationship with “the First Nations,” the popular term in Canada for indigenous people.
What she didn’t mention was the fact that the Art Gallery of Ontario — one of Canada’s most distinguished art museums — had recently renamed Carr’s painting, originally titled “Indian Church,” saying that the old terminology ‘‘denigrates and discriminates.’’
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