The Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, is marking the Presidents’ Day holiday this year by making a loud visual statement in response to President Trump’s executive order—temporarily put on hold—to ban citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US. In a project called Art-Less, the museum is highlighting the contributions of immigrants by de-installing or shrouding works on view from the permanent collection that were either made by artists who were immigrants, or given to the institution by immigrant collectors.
“We’ll see pockets of absence all over the museum,” Fischman says. “The African art section is almost entirely lost to view.” This is because around 80% of the works on show were donated by the Klejman family, who came to the US from Poland after the Second World War; Susanne Klejman Bennet, who was born in Warsaw, graduated from Wellesley in the class of 1959. The family is a “rather extraordinary example” of an immigrant family, says Fischman: Bennet’s son Michael is a Democratic Senator from Colorado, and her son James oversees the editorial page for the New York Times.
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