Category Archive 'Rijksmuseum'

23 Dec 2015

Rijksmuseum Goes PC Crazy

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Cornelius van Harlaam, Bathsheba at her toilet, 1594, Rijksmuseum

The leftist morons at the fine arts blog Hyperallergic are applauding the large-scale re-titling of art works at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum on the basis of political correctness. From the viewpoint of the contemporary fashionable leftist, the existence of a Christian European point of view constitutes ipso facto an insult and an affront to the Hottentots and Mussulmen, and the fashionable leftist is on their side, not ours.

If you’re browsing the digital collection of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, you might come across a 1594 painting by Cornelisz van Haarlem, “Bathsheba at her Toilet,” picturing “the beautiful Bathsheba” bathing outside the castle of King David. And you might wonder what year it is when you see this jarringly racist phrase in the painting’s description: “Because Bathsheba’s maidservant is black, the subtly erotic painting takes on an exotic tinge.”

It’s just one example of the offensive and dated language that peppers the museum’s descriptions of its artworks. Soon, though, racially charged language — including words like “negro” and “Mohamadden,” a Victorian word for Muslims since it was assumed they followed Mohammad like Christians followed Jesus — will be removed from some 220,000 titles and descriptions in the Rijksmuseum’s online catalogue of images, to be replaced by more neutral terms. The project, called “Adjustment of Colonial Terminology,” is spearheaded by 12 curators in the Rijksmuseum’s history department. It’s been in planning stages for several years, but has only gotten off the ground in the past month.

“The Rijksmuseum thinks it’s very important to give descriptions of our collections in a neutral way, using correct, up-to-date language and from a neutral perspective,” curator Eveline Sint Nicolaas tells Hyperallergic. “We no longer want to make use of terms that reflect a Eurocentric way of looking at people or historic moments, or that are considered discriminatory because the used terms refer to race in a negative way, or contain terms that go back to colonial times. If it’s unnecessary, they will no longer refer to skin color.”

The project has been met with plenty of opposition from people who think it’s an example of historical revisionism, censorship, or political correctness gone too far. “Some people are afraid we are ‘whitewashing’ history or throwing away historical information that belongs to the object,” Sint Nicolas says. Those include Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, who commented on the Rijkmuseum’s decision by saying Tate’s galleries would not be following suit by “censoring” artworks. But “nothing is erased,” Sint Nicolaas says. The Rijksmuseum argues that critics of this project don’t understand its nuances, or the art historical and colonial context that led to such descriptions being written in the first place. The updates simply provide visitors with a neutral lens through which to view historical artworks, instead of the biased lens created by Rijksmuseum administrations of the past.

Read the whole thing.

Eveline Sint Nicolaas ought to be fired by the museum’s directors on the basis of her intellectual treason and anti-European bigotry, and then sent off to try to get a job curating works of art for the African Negroes in their jungles. When she fails to find any art to curate or any museums to curate them in, she can next try persuading the fanatical followers of the prophet Mahound to stop destroying art works and to tolerate representational art. And good luck to her!

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