Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting held on February 3, 1992

About the Project

Controversy quickly consumed the Smithsonian American Art Museum after the opening of “The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the American Frontier, 1820-1920” in 1991. Some criticized the ways the curators implied that artists of the American West were responsible for romanticizing the realities of American expansion, deeming the show to be too political. In response to public outcry, some congressmen threatened to defund the Smithsonian. This had the Board of Regents’ attention. In a 1992 meeting, Secretary Robert McCormick Adams opened discussions about the Smithsonian’s “cultural agenda” and the ways in which it could avoid future controversy while still responsibly interpreting history. Join a group of #volunpeers in exploring the conversations that followed this tense period in Smithsonian history.

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