The political thought police have now come to the American art museum. For some years they have been making their presence felt in the museum world in numerous ways, demanding—and usually getting—concessions and preferments in the name of gender, race, ethnicity, and the many other items that constitute the current agenda of multiculturalism, “diversity,” and politically correct ideas. But the damage to aesthetic standards remained, for the most part, limited in scope as far as the mainstream activities of most of our museums are concerned. Museum administrators might be quick to surrender the pages of exhibition catalogues to the new political orthodoxy—as they did, in the 1980s, with the Courbet retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, for example, and the Richard Serra show at the Museum of Modern Art—but the exhibitions themselves were mounted with a minimum of political distortion. The signs of a growing political...

 
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