Inheritance: How Communities Are Responding to Controversial Artwork

Julia Zimring's picture
April 27, 2022 to April 30, 2022
Rhode Island, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, Humanities, Race / Ethnic Studies, Cultural History / Studies

Inheritance (April 27 - 30, 2022) brings together activists, curators, educators, tribal leaders, artists, historians, heritage workers, and policy makers to explore the range of strategies that institutions and communities are using to respond to contentious representations of race, Indigenous lifeways and history in public art and architecture.  Over two days on Zoom, speakers from the US, UK and Canada will offer first-hand accounts of initiatives and actions that resulted in the removal, reinterpretation, or recontextualization of public and commemorative artworks, heritage sites and museum collections, while others will present on efforts to protect and preserve sites that have been ignored or under-resourced.  We are in the midst of a reckoning, as communities seek to reshape how (and whose) history is told and commemorated in public space. This may entail radical changes to the art that hangs on our walls, the monuments in our public squares, and the stories that are told at historic sites as the public landscape that we have inherited continues to evolve.

This symposium, organized by the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University, includes a mix of online and in-person events and opportunities over four days. In-person events at the Public Humanities Center include an artist’s talk and participatory performance with Haus of Glitter on Wednesday, April 27; an exhibition opening for Jazzmen Lee-Johnson’s Not Never More on Thursday, April 28, which responds to the Center for Public Humanities' controversial wallpaper; and an Unconference on Saturday, April 30. The symposium and all associated events are free and open to the public, but registration is required.  For more information, including links to register, please visit