A Black Girl’s Experience at The Art Museum

Hello! Welcome to Planet Gabrielle.

It’s been a while! I’ve missed you guys! It feels like it’s been years, when really it’s only been months. But seriously, a few months is still a long time…well, to me it is anyway.

So I kind of took a little break from blogging. It was much needed, actually – I was trying to keep my blog up and write a second manuscript, and go to work a my new job. But oh yeah, I don’t have a job anymore! Why don’t I have my job anymore? Well, I’ll tell you all about that, but some other time.

Today, I wanted to talk about something that happened to me this past Friday.

Most people who know me, (and I mean really, really know me) know one thing about me.

I’m a nerd.

I love history and art. I literally spent the majority of 4th grade drilling myself on who all the presidents were and fun facts about all 50 states. And of course, I’ve always loved art. When I was little, I wanted to be an artist. But the sad thing is, I can’t exactly draw…so that didn’t work out for me.

But I guess writing is some form of art, if you think about it.

Anyway, I was really excited because my mom and I agreed that we were going to this relatively new art museum last Friday. It was actually one of the big things I was looking forward to last week.

So, we get to the museum and everything is going great. It’s beautiful – both inside and out. We first stopped by the gift shop, where we saw a lot of handmade jewelry. I thought that was pretty cool.

And after window shopping for a while, we went to look at the art. Now, we originally were going to look at the Egyptian artifacts that were on display. But instead, we ended up looking at almost every single piece that was in that building.

We started with the Italian art and there seemed to be A LOT of it. Which I sort of didn’t mind. I like Italy, I like art. So why complain?

Next to the Italian art, was the Flemish and Dutch work. We weren’t exactly planning on going over there, but later we did when I thought I saw a picture of Joan of Arc. And I was right because I know my girl when I see her.

Anyways, we go on to look at the Egyptian art. I actually found it quite strange, because later when we looked at the African art, I realized that the two were separated. Maybe the museum didn’t want to offend anyone by grouping Egypt and Africa together but hey, look! Here’s a map for ya:

IN_YOUR_FACE_CORBYN!

 

I know this is a crazy thought, but it looks to me that Egypt is actually IN Africa!

 

But I assume that either the museum was in denial, or they didn’t want upset the people who were. I would go on about this, but that’s a completely different story.

The African art was wonderful, of course. (I was going to say the Egyptian art and  African art as if they are separate…but come on. You guys saw the map. Need I say more?)

I have always loved going to museums and experiencing all the different cultures.

But you know, I realized something right as we were about to leave – I didn’t see any Asian artwork. I mean, it would make sense for them to have just a few pieces there since they were including everybody else, right?

So, as we were on our way out the door, we sort of stumbled into this section that we hadn’t visited. There was plenty of modern American art – including some work from a Japanese-American artist. But the piece was something I was not expecting.

I would explain it to you, but a picture is worth a thousand words so…

20160429_153847

 

TA DA!

Blackface “artwork.”

Okay, so blackface is apparently still a modern day issue..for some reason. The sad thing is that most people don’t see it as an issue at all. Furthermore, some people even see it as art.

I didn’t read the entire description next to this painting. I couldn’t. I was honestly so enraged. I had to walk away before the lurking security guard saw how upset I was. Because I was on the verge of being escorted out of the building.

The small portion of the description I did read, explained that this painting was done by a Japanese-American who happens to be a fan of rap music/culture. Okay, that’s fine. I get it. There are plenty of different people who love rap and hip hop. But honestly, I think the painting would have been much better off if the people were wearing baggy jeans, gold chains around their necks and carrying boomboxes on their shoulders. Not this. If you want to pay homage to us, DO NOT do something like this. And they have the nerve to have afros and cornrows. As if blackface wasn’t enough!

Blackface always has been and always will be offensive to me. Not to mention, it’s pretty scary. I mean, it looks so unnatural and it’s always freaked me out. Why would someone want to do blackface? I guess I might never truly understand.

All in all, I just hope the museum takes it down one day – one day very soon. I don’t think they would want to be known as the museum that thinks blackface is okay.

And that thinks Egypt is not apart of Africa…

You know something? After getting this off my chest, I’m not even mad anymore. But that doesn’t mean others will take too kindly to this painting. I might still send the museum an email, just warning them that they might offend more visitors in the future with this piece. Not sure if they’ll listen to me or not – but you never know. I understand that the artist meant well. Nevertheless, whenever I think back to this trip to the art museum, I will always think of this painting. I don’t even know if I want to go back, to be honest. Only time will tell.

The point of this post was just to share an experience I recently had. If anyone is offended by this post then…well, it’s not like that hasn’t happened before. Feel free to share your opinions with me!

Anyway, that’s all for today! Check back soon for new posts! Posting every first Friday of the month…for now.

If you wanna, you can always hit me up on Twitter, like me on FB or even follow me on Instagram!

And always remember, you’re perfect. Perfectly you! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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