An assistant curator at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall inspects a rare painting that is currently being kept at the museum store and warehouse

How Museums Tidy Up

Deaccessioning old works can be a complicated and fraught process. But even museums have to spring-clean now and then.

21 Savage and “Deported Americans”

Rapper 21 Savage’s deportation battle highlights an important aspect of contemporary immigration policy that is often overlooked.
Release, by Marco Cianfanelli and Jeremy Rose.

Nelson Mandela’s Lasting Image

Since his death in 2013, Nelson Mandela has achieved icon status. Why is his image so ubiquitous, reproduced everywhere from tourist kitsch to high art?
Installation view of Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle

Ai Weiwei’s Readymade: Politics

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been making political waves for decades, but his current shows are especially relevant to the United States.
The Black Shawl, 1917, by Henri Matisse

The Colonialist Gaze of Matisse’s Odalisques

Henri Matisse's odalisques, or reclining nude females, were inspired by trips to exotic French colonies. But what was the story outside the frame?
terra cotta warriors in Xi'an China

What Does Archaeology Have to Do with Nationalism?

Many nations have adopted origin stories in order to link themselves more closely to heroic, historical figures.
Judy Garland A Star is Born

Did A Star is Born Make Judy Garland a Gay Icon?

One scholar argues that Judy Garland's role in A Star is Born was so pivotal because it involved both gender impersonation and “racial drag."
yearbook

How High School Reunions Connect Us With the Past

High school reunions have become an important part of managing and presenting identity, as these scholars and poets consider.
georgia o'keeffe

When Dole Sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii

In 1939, Dole Pineapple Company sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii for three months in order to produce works that could be used in their advertisements.
Smoke Signals film

What Smoke Signals Means 20 Years Later

This groundbreaking film was the first movie to be written, directed, co-produced, and acted by Native Americans.