Changes are afoot at the Fleming. We are currently re-envisioning the Collections Gallery (formerly the European/American Gallery). In areas freshly painted gray or blue, you’ll find a new selection of artworks installed among some objects from the prior display. This ongoing reinstallation project expands possibilities for connecting with the collection in new and exciting ways.
Our re-envisioning of the Collections Gallery has its roots in Fleming Reimagined. As a living vision statement, Fleming Reimagined documents the Museum’s ongoing efforts to become an anti-racist museum that is more responsive, relevant, and inclusive. And, as an emergent initiative, it provides pathways to integrate inclusive methods into museum practice.
In keeping with these values, the present changes to the Collections Gallery short-circuit the dominant narrative of art history once told here. That narrative has privileged a single perspective (white non-disabled heteromasculine) in and on art to the detriment of all, especially those identifying as BIPOC and LGBTQ+. Now, instead, you’ll find more and more objects that amplify diverse perspectives.
Several artworks that amplify queer perspectives, for example, are now prominently displayed. Robert Indiana’s A Garden of Love, a set of six prints, from 1982, uses verbal and visual means to communicate an inclusive message of love. And Marcelino Gonçalves’ painting Composition with Pairs, from 2007, engages with themes of same-sex love, gay desire, and masculinity.
Like a lab, the Collections Gallery is also a space for experimenting with museum practice by more frequently rotating artworks. Such rotations will, we hope, provide many new avenues for reimagining the Museum, as it is today, and what it might become in the future.