Museums Today: Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Protesters standing side by side holding posters with large banners at their feet
Protest by Decolonize This Place at the Whitney Museum, New York, April 5, 2019. Photo by Perimeander. CC BY-SA 4.0.


Join author Laura Raicovich online for a discussion of her new publication Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest  (Verso, 2021). The book delves into the growing tension between public expectations and the mandate, role and structural conditions of art museums in the United States and further afield. It discusses well-known case studies such as the resignation of Warren Kanders from the board of the Whitney Museum on account of investments in the munitions industry and tear-gas, as well as protest efforts to address labor politics at museums in the United States and internationally.

In Culture Strike, Raicovich also draws on close personal experience. As director of the Queens Museum in New York, Raicovich worked to bring her renowned social vision for art institutions that serve broad and transformative public interests, and her resignation in 2018 deeply informs the book. For this presentation she will focus on museum neutrality as a disguise for the upholding of the status quo, the need for the treadmill of over-production to slow down within cultural space to do deeper structural work, and the necessary shift towards understanding protest as forms of radical care for cultural space.

About Laura Raicovich

Laura Raicovich is a writer and curator whose new book Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest was published in June 2021. She recently served as interim director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Center and served as director of the Queens Museum in New York. Raicovich lectures internationally and co-curated a seminar series titled “Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness” at the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts  (6 p.m. EST / 3 p.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About the Museums Today Series

Each month during the academic year, museum leaders lead lively online discussions about critical issues in the field. This series is presented in partnership with the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries. Browse upcoming programs