JTA — Princeton University has spent months planning an exhibition of 19th-century American Jewish art, after which two of its notable artists canceled the show in support of the Navy.
The cancellation attracted criticism from Jewish donors and consulting historians on display. They say this decision “rewrites art history.”
“I was really surprised that the university was in this position,” said Leonard Mill, a Jewish financial manager and art collector named to fund the collection and decorate the gallery where the exhibits are exhibited. Berg told Princeton’s student newspaper.
The exhibit is Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a famous sculptor who built a monument to the South Army at Arlington National Cemetery and raised the flag of the Battle of the South Army in a Roman studio, and among other artists, the South Army.
The famous Ezekiel sculpture known as “Faith” — a adaptation of the early work “Freedom of Religion” commissioned by B’nai B’rith to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, now on display outside the National Museum. I am. Philadelphia’s American Jewish History — It was to be the centerpiece of the exhibition. Another Ezekiel work was to feature a sculpture by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of American Reform Judaism.
Princeton canceled the exhibition in December after agreeing to hold the exhibition for the first time last summer. According to the first e-mail received by the Religion News Service, the Vice-President of the University’s Institutional Fairness and Diversity expressed concern about the South Army’s ties and called for Ezekiel and Moise to be replaced by other artists. rice field.
The decision was incompatible with Milberg, the show’s curator Samantha Baskind, or the Jewish historians Adam Mendelzone and Jonathan Sarna who consulted for the exhibition.
“Donner withdrew because Princeton canceled art,” Baskind told Daily Princeton that the decision was “the unfortunate surrender of anti-intellectualism to cancel culture.”
She added: “Eliminating artists with a South Army relationship rewrites art history. Art historians explore the meaning of art and how it is perceived at the present moment. Filling the past. Instead, we need to inform and discuss the past. “
American institutions, including universities, are increasingly reassessing whether and how to recognize racist figures in the past. The effort sometimes included Jews associated with the South Army. For example, the Northern California synagogue considered whether to include Judah Benjamin, the leader of the Jewish South Army, in the engraved list of prominent Jews.
In his editorial, Milberg said he had previously sponsored Princeton’s exhibition, shining a spotlight on artists with anti-Semitic relationships. “I felt that I should learn from history, not erase it,” he writes.