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Brooklyn Museum under criticism for appointing a white woman as its new curator of African art

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Brooklyn Museum, 2015. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

New York’s Brooklyn Museum is under criticism for appointing a white woman as its new curator of African art, with multiple people on social media calling out the institution for not hiring a person of colour in the role. African arts and architecture historian, Kristen Windmuller-Luna, has been named as the new Sills Family Consulting Curator, African Art.

The Brooklyn Museum’s director Anne Pasternak commented, “Windmuller-Luna will assess and rethink the Brooklyn Museum’s extensive holdings of African art, which is comprised of more than 6,000 objects, and organise an innovative, freshly conceived temporary installation showcasing the breadth and depth of the collection.”

The placement of Winmuller-Luna, who has a PhD from Princeton University in African art and architecture and a previous role as Mellon Collections Research Specialist (African Arts) at the Princeton University Art Museum, has come under criticism with a number of people taking to Twitter to share their opposition to the appointment.

The museum’s chief curator Jennifer Chi responded, “Kristen is the perfect choice to build upon the Brooklyn Museum’s track record as an innovator in the collection and exhibition of the arts of Africa.”