"Kimono Wednesdays"

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Kimonowednesday 02.jpg

Artist: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Year: 2015

Date of Action: July 2015

Region: North America

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Performance Art

Confronting Bodies: Decolonize Our Museums, formerly Stand Against Yellow Face (SAYF)

Description of Artwork: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston invited visitors to wear and be photographed wearing a replica of the kimono in Claude Monet’s painting “La Japonaise" on Wednesday evenings from June 24, 2015, to July 29, 2015. A "Spotlight" talk, originally titled "Claude Monet: Flirting With the Exotic," was to accompany the interactive exhibit.

The Incident: Protesters, some affiliated with Decolonize Our Museums (formerly Stand Against Yellow Face), accused the museum of racism and cultural appropriation via social media and live protests.

Results of Incident: The museum cancelled "Kimono Wednesdays." Visitors were only allowed to touch the kimonos. The museum also changed the title of the accompanying talk to "Claude Monet: 'La Japonaise.'"

Around one dozen counter-protesters (supporting the interactive exhibit) engaged around two dozen protesters in the gallery.

As of December 2015, The group "Decolonize Our Museums" states on its website, "Currently, we are in dialogue with new MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum to plan an event on cultural appropriation and exchange."

Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2015/07/18/counter-protesters-join-kimono-fray-mfa/ZgVWiT3yIZSlQgxCghAOFM/story.html, http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-33450391, http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2015/07/stop-orientalism-on-boston-mfas-kimono-wednesdays/, http://decolonizeourmuseums.tumblr.com, http://www.mfa.org/news/2015/july