San Francisco Asian Art Museum to remove a statue of its founder Avery Brundage
The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has announced their plans to remove a statue of founder Avery Brundage.
The Brundage statue comes as the latest monument to be taken down, a movement which was sparked by the group of protesters in Bristol hauled down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston and dumped it into a river.
The removal of Colston has resulted in a widespread reflection and analysis of the statues and celebrated figures of society, many of which have been intrinsically linked to racism in some form. Now, as many institutions begin measures to remove or change historic aspects, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum has followed suit after the racist and anti-Semitic views of its founder emerged.
With the museum planning to reopen this summer after closing its doors during the social distancing lockdown, director and chief executive Dr. Jay Xu has called for the removal of the Brundage bust and has insisted that closer and more in-depth research into other statues will be conducted.
“If we pride ourselves as guardians of a historical art collection, we must contend with the very history of how our museum came to be. Avery Brundage, whose collection forms the nucleus of this institution, espoused racist and anti-Semitic views,” Dr. Jay Xu said in a statement.
“We have removed his name from museum initiatives but have yet to address this history in a fully open and transparent way,” Xu added. “Only by publicly condemning Brundage’s racism and examining the foundation of our museum can we become an even greater source of healing and connection.”