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Art Institute of Chicago Fires Unpaid Docents for Being Too White, Replaces Them with Paid Ladies of Color
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It’s not uncommon for organizations to fire well-paid older white workers in the name of fighting racism and replace them with poorer-paid People of Diverseness, such as that orchestra in Britain. But here’s a case in which unpaid white women were fired in order to pay women of color to do the same work (worse, no doubt). From Jerry Coyne’s blog Why Evolution Is True:

The Art Institute of Chicago fires all 122 of its (unpaid and volunteer) docents because they aren’t sufficiently “diverse”

October 9, 2021 • 11:30 am

The Art Institute has some pretty good paintings.

… The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), one of the world’s finest art museums, harbors (or rather, harbored) 122 highly skilled docents … All are volunteers and are all unpaid. Their job is to act as guides to the Museum’s collection of 300,000 works, which they explain to both adults and schoolchildren. I’ve seen them in action at the Museum, and they’re terrific.

Despite the lack of remuneration—they do this to be helpful and because they love art—their training to be docents is extremely rigorous. First, they have to have two training sessions per week for eighteen months, and then “five years of continual research and writing to meet the criteria of 13 museum content areas” (quote from the docents’ letter to the Director of the AIC). On top of that, there’s monthly and biweekly training on new exhibits. Then there are the tours themselves, with a docent giving up to two one-hour tours per day for 18 weeks of the year and a minimum of 24 one-hour tours with adults/families. Their average length of service: 15 years. …

Many of the volunteers—though not all—are older white women, who have the time and resources to devote so much free labor to the Museum. But the demographics of that group weren’t appealing to the AIC, and so, in late September, the AIC fired all of them, saying they’d be replaced by smaller number of hired volunteers who will be paid \$25 an hour. That group will surely meet the envisioned diversity goals. …

… More than 1200 years of work put in by the current docents, and all that expertise: gone in an instant. Ask yourself first, do they need to diversify? I don’t know the answer, though surely some minority docents might have different points of view about art, a reason implied by the AIC’s response in the Tribune. (But ask yourself what the reaction would be if all the docents were black or Hispanic and they hired whites to get a “white point of view”? Personally, I’m not sure race is crucial in giving expert talks about the Museum’s exhibits.) But the AIC did try to diversity the docents—and failed. They’re to be commended for that because, after all, surely it would look better to have a diverse group of docents. They just weren’t able, given the demographics, to accomplish that.

Letting black women work for free out of their love of great art is, like, slavery.

What can they do? My own suggestion is to keep the docents, but as they retire replace some of them with members of minority groups. The problem with that, though, is that they tried doing this already, and apparently couldn’t find appropriate docents. I think the solution of replacing the docents with a smaller and more “diverse” group of paid guides, however, is not only insulting to the docents, but a bad move for the Museum’s reputation and especially for the education of those who go to the AIC. There will have to be many fewer tours, and with a much less well-trained group of guides.

Jobs for the girls.

Here’s the new Art Institute executive who fired the unpaid veteran docents: Veronica Stein.

Obviously, she couldn’t possibly have any racist motivations.

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  1. Can’t say I’m disturbed by this. I suspect these women were insufferable libtards anyway. But more importantly, America is finished. Who these days has the time to tour art museums while episodes of “mutual combat” are breaking out all over Chicago?

    Art is for a rising, aspirational culture, not a conquered people.

  2. Anon[161] • Disclaimer says:

    The obvious solution is to pay URMs and not white docents. This being illegal, they decided to dismantle the entire program and rebuild it in a way that … is still illegal, if their plan is to racially discriminate against whites, but whose illegality is obfuscated and less subject to an immediate lawsuit.

    This is a repeat of what happened with corporate and NPO interns, but there whites are still in the majority.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  3. “122 highly skilled docents … All are volunteers and are all unpaid. Their job is to act as guides to the Museum’s collection of 300,000 works, which they explain to both adults and schoolchildren. ”

    I’m sorry, but given that the docents have to undergo some training for the job, it just seems that it should be a full time paid career. What traditionally is or was called a museum guide (or tour guide) has always been a paying job. I’m missing how exactly this isn’t a paying job to begin with. Museums, given their nature of being on the public dole (taxpayer funded) rarely ever turned a profit, and yet museum guides usually got paid enough to make a career out of it. Is Chicago’s Art Institute unique in this sort of thing of getting free labor for all those working hours or is this a new trend among US museums?

    “Letting black women work for free out of their love of great art is, like, slavery.”

    To quote John Derbyshire quoting George Orwell, “There are some things that are true EVEN THOUGH the Communist Party says they are true.”

    And so in this case, the black women would be correct: perhaps not technically slavery, but exploitation just the same. And the white docents should’ve been financially compensated for their work and time as well.

    Perhaps I’m conflating a museum docent with a museum guide (tour), but it seems that the positions would tend to overlap. All the museum guides I’ve known here were always paid; the jobs are listed on employment sites for pay. I just can’t imagine a guide for MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Met Museum, working for free.

    There is a difference between being a volunteer for a religious institution and being a volunteer for a taxpayer funded institution such as a museum. After all, the museum administrators, and other higher end positions surely aren’t working for free. Just as it’s utterly ridiculous to expect museum administrators to work for free so too it should be just as ridiculous to expect docents to work for free, especially as their tour guide counterparts are definitely financially compensated.

  4. We could never expect the museum to be totally honest. Total honesty, with full disclosure, about racial issues is almost certain to touch serious taboo issues and can lead to serious cancellation.

    It could not be that there are very few or no black women who are
    a) willing to work for free in a demanding job
    b) interested in arts
    c) willing to study hard
    d) have the IQ and education to fulfill the job requirenments

    e) due to affirmative action, those who qualify, certainly have a huge chance to be hired to high ranking posts, as University professors, University directors or slightly below with changes to soon be promoted

    f) any academic researcher who would venture to test my hypotheses and dare to find affirmative answers would have his career cut short and would possibly even be rejected as Uber driver

  5. How exactly is one a “volunteer” if she’s going to be paid \$25/hr?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  6. Building Back Better!

    • Replies: @Spud Boy
  7. At the UCB BAM, the docent-leftists hover like mean vultures: “Don’t move one step closer to that [crappy] water color!”

    • Replies: @RonaldB
  8. Wilkey says:

    They’re firing highly educated unpaid volunteers, only to replace them with less educated but paid volunteers. And it isn’t just all the extra instruction all these volunteers had to go through. I would guess that most of them already have college degrees besides the instruction. But they’re going to pay their replacements \$25 an hour…in Chicago…and hope that somehow comes close to the quality they were getting.

    My guess is that their plan is to hire a lot art of college grads who couldn’t earn decent money actually working as artists. Which may be quite a lot of them.

    So they’ll replace these gracious, well-educated, and unpaid volunteers with a lot of bitter, failed – AND BLACK! – art college grads.

    That’ll go over well.

    One can only hope that when this project fails abysmally that the former docents refuse to come back.

    As COVID has already shown us, it is a lot easier to break the labor market than to repair it.

  9. Wilkey says:

    Their job is to act as guides to the Museum’s collection of 300,000 works

    How many of the people who donated these works to the AIC (a lot of them elderly white women) ever thought it would come to this?

    This is a solid argument for never donating to these types of organizations. The people who run the organization have zero respect for the values of their supporters.

    It’s amazing the number of organizations with essentially apolitical beginnings become rabidly politicized when the older generation dies and a new generation takes over. I’ve seen it happen recently with a couple such organizations in my own community.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
  10. Like slavery? That reminds me of something.

    In most of the world when a person works long hours without pay, it is referred to as “slavery” or “forced labor.” For white people this process is referred to as an internship and is considered an essential stage in white development.

    • Agree: Red Pill Angel
    • Replies: @Rob
    , @Uncle Dan
  11. But, but …
    shouldn´t those chaperones look like ™ the visitors (or painters)
    i.e. ghastly White?

    • Replies: @Jim Cochran
  12. Dube says:

    Now they can get rid of that stuff on the walls and let the public look at the docents.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    , @Thea
  13. The next phase (if it hasn’t started already) will be to replace the works of unpaid white artists (such as Monet and Goya — they’re not drawing a paycheck anymore) with diverse artists who will accept a check, like that guy behind polydactylic trapped-in-a-hedgerow Barack Obama.

  14. Wait. The AIC and the unpaid docents have invested years of training and service. That’s a sunk cost. Why throw all that away?

    What is preventing the AIC from creating a parallel program of paid Docents of Diversitude in addition to the existing program? Justify it as an “equity” or a “minority outreach” program to avoid charges of illegal discrimination (not that any Person of Woke would ever bring such charges).

  15. Man, they really do have a great collection, just judging from the photos Steve provided.

    This story is an example of a very big waste of talent. It is scary, because if this crap continues, there will eventually no longer be a culture here in America. Things will be lost, okay?

    — Sincerely,
    Someone who was in Chicago only once

    (I was riding a Trailways bus 48 hours from Boulder to Phili, in 1979, and there was a stop in Chicago. I had long hair, and some young man at the station in Chicago asked me, out of the blue, if I had any marijuana to sell to him. He was probably working for the Chicago cops. I did not have any marijuana, and thus I did not get trapped.)

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    , @Steve Sailer
  16. El Dato says:


    Cannot explain black art (that would be cultural appropriation) or must even “resitute it” (even if it’s just some bunch of wood to which someone gave half a form in half an hour 200 years ago).

    Cannot explain white art because doing so would be supremacist or insufficiently diverse.


    Completely comprehend white art to the point where they can see it’s all just an expression of racism and supremacy that was built with slavery. Whites have to be explained this important aspect of their civilization.

    Don’t care about black art.

    • Agree: HammerJack, Old Prude
    • Replies: @Eustace Tilley (not)
  17. Cortes says:

    On the bright side, there ought to be plenty of scope for extemporising tableaux vivants as DaShawn shows up to slap his art-mama around to show her who’s the boss “I’m a rearrange your face like a Picasso, bitch!”

    • LOL: Clyde, HammerJack
  18. J says:

    The AIC is cutting off the branch on which it is sitting. Those volunteer ladies are the vanguard of the middle class interested in art, the visitors, donors, and political supporters.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  19. @Buzz Mohawk

    That´s the entire point I guess –
    art museums, concert halls and libraries are de facto White and safe spaces;
    can´t have that.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  20. JimDandy says:

    These kinds of problems should be solved by mutual combat.

    • LOL: Hibernian, Yngvar
  21. Jerry Coyne:

    This is entirely a matter of race and “optics,” though you wouldn’t easily discern that by reading the back-and-forth communications between the AIC and the docents. The latter, of course, strenuously object to being let go, and in their letter to the AIC point out their many contributions to the Museum. (The AIC, in a hamhanded gesture, offered them two-year free passes to the AIC as a measly “thank you”.)

    The lack of ethnic diversity apparently comes from the fact that this is volunteer work that takes a ton of time, and disadvantaged minorities aren’t often blessed with the time or resources for such work. The AIC says they’ve tried to diversity the docents but have apparently failed (listen to the radio show below).

    It’s not about the docents. Commenters here recognize this is preparation for getting rid of classic White artworks in the future. When an institution can get away with what would be otherwise illegal discrimination, against volunteers, the artwork itself is in danger precisely because much of it represents those Whites whom the current administrators and some newer employees see as the enemy. So: Capture the institution through subversion, and attack the legacy it protected.

    As Steve says, After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

    This exhibit in Boston’s MFA is not who they are, past nor present: (#56)


    The MFA Plays An Artful Mind Game With Its Visitors — And They Love The ‘Epiphany’

    With its red Victorian wallpaper, its ghostly white classical statues and its jumble of 19th-century landscapes and seascapes stacked nearly to the ceiling, the room is meant to evoke the style of the original Paris Salon art show. This is what the whole MFA looked like in the 1890s, a sign explains.

    The whole idea for the painting was that it would be “hung in the very room which it paints,” says Warren Prosperi, the Southborough-based portrait and mural painter who co-created the piece with his wife, the photographer Lucia Prosperi, in 2012. “That would make the piece more enticing for the viewer to, in a sense, unfold or unlock or deconstruct — ‘Oh look, there’s someone like me.’ ”

    [Malcolm] Rogers knew that an Epiphany painting of people encountering Nydia and her neighbors would not only help to show off the fancy new salon — the \$504 million Art of the Americas wing opened in 2010 — but would also remind museumgoers why they came to the MFA in the first place.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
  22. SafeNow says:

    I read a 2018 book by Yale professor Denise Ho, called “Curating Revolution.” It details how Mao stressed that to inculcate a new consciousness, exhibitionary methods played a crucial role. Handbooks written for the cadre explained that for people unaccustomed to working with abstractions, artistic objects, and the use of docents, in organized settings, provided a concrete method of transmitting a revolutionary way of thought. When I read “Curating Revolution” it was right around the time of publication. I thought I was reading a work of history, having no current significance; I never imagined that the book would be prescient. I thus believe that this Chicago docent change goes far beyond a downgrading of art-appreciation skills. This eill be used as a way of propagandizing new thinking.

  23. Let me translate Jerry and Steve for you:

    “But I thought me and Muh Smart Fraction would be excluded from the anti-White policies as long as we never showed any loyalty to White people! I thought all us smart folks would get an exception from the ongoing pogroms.”

    Things will only get worse.

    • Agree: ATBOTL
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  24. In what year will the Art Institute of Chicago burn paintings by old white males? I’m guessing 2029, but at the rate things are going I’m not putting money on it.

    • Replies: @Sick 'n Tired
    , @Mr. Anon
  25. @Buzz Mohawk

    One of the big art history textbooks (Jansson?) was written by a Chicagoan so it’s biased in favor of paintings in the Art Institute.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Skeptikal
  26. Rob McX says:

    It’s amazing the number of organizations with essentially apolitical beginnings become rabidly politicized when the older generation dies and a new generation takes over.

    Any organisation that does not actively look out for whites will eventually become anti-white.

    • Agree: ATBOTL, HammerJack
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @rebel yell
  27. Rob McX says:

    Anyone who wants to learn about art, literature or culture needs to it by himself, from scratch. Schools, universities, museums, galleries will all be corrupted and ruined. All we can hope for is that works of art will not be deliberately destroyed.

    • Agree: Kylie
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  28. High culture is rayciss, anyway.

    • Replies: @fish
  29. @Rob McX

    We’re back to Robert Conquest again.
    Here are 2 of his 3 laws of politics. They certainly apply here.

    2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

    3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

    This is the point at which the secret cabal makes itself visible.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @Rob McX
  30. I suspect that many of these docents are from wealthy backgrounds and that they, their husbands or other relatives have donated generously – or even donated art works – to the museum. I sincerely hope that this is a wake up call to them, their families and the rest of the donor class.

    The Institute is run by a corrupt, malicious, politically driven group of people. They have treated their unpaid volunteers despicably. Accordingly, do not volunteer, fund raise, donate or bequeath artworks.
    They should cut off all connection with the Institute.

    • Replies: @Forbes
    , @HammerJack
  31. @International Jew

    I thought the Barack Obama portrait looked silly, but there was no extra finger. The real fiasco was the gray-skinned Michelle Obama portrait.

  32. On one hand, it’s nearly impossible to believe the nerve, hubris and general ham-fistedness of the AIC (firing unpaid volunteers?!). On the other hand, what little I know about art, artists, and art lovers leads me to believe that nearly 100% of the volunteers were huge supporters of BLM. Bumper stickers, signs in the yard, donations, the whole works. So, welcome to anti-racism, ladies.

  33. Altai says:

    SJWs online are generally obsessed with paying people despite the fact that paying people often changes the dynamic of something. I suspect this is because the most influential SJWs are media people.

    The same with the NCAA. They’re mostly black athletes so you have to pay then. And, eventually, they will but it will ruin the dynamic and take away the whole point.

    They’re incapable of discerning between people not being paid because they’re being exploited (Working for somebody else who just wants to make personal wealth off their effort) and those who volunteer to work for someone or something they feel is apart of themselves or which can’t pay them.

    It’s the difference between acting as a carer for your own children or elderly parents and acting as a carer for some random family.

    Nothing will be learned from this, however, since the women in question are too old for anyone on social media to be disturbed by a boundary violation.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian, mc23
  34. bjdubbs says:

    I’m going to guess that no docents are hired and the program was cancelled because it wasn’t making the museum any money. Wokeness is often an excuse for things that were going to happen anyway.

    • Replies: @cityview
  35. @Wilkey

    One can only hope that when this project fails abysmally that the former docents refuse to come back.


  36. George says:

    Having a paid possibly unionized staff can be useful in terms of voting in local elections. There is increasing pressure to tax trusts and endowments.

  37. Old Prude says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Mrs. Prude worked at the Portland Museum of Art for twenty years, so she keeps up with developments there. What a falling off there has been. The new director went full on with DIE, getting rid of the old staff and replacing them with POC and freaks. The Christmas tree devolved to a Soltice tree decorated with condoms. Now I think there is not even that.

    The collection is strewn with laughable and/or infantile crap. No one goes there anymore unless they put on a show with works from a real artist like one of the Wyeths, but even then one has to endure counter-narrative curating by aggrieved losers and sexual deviants.

    There is irony that these docents, no-doubt nice, sophisticated white ladies with predomantantly liberal views are getting abused by their pets. I feel bad for them, but maybe the experience will be salutary. These people hate you.

    • Agree: Ben tillman, RedpilledAF
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  38. Dan Hayes says:

    A question – Who said it first: Robert Conquest or John O’Sullivan?

  39. Dan Hayes says:
    @Cool Daddy Jimbo

    A prime example of POETIC JUSTICE!

    • Agree: Cool Daddy Jimbo
  40. Altai says:

    The museum store sells this.

    The irony must be totally lost them. The artist was born in the 40s into a Jewish family in New Jersey so I appreciate she, like the former director of the ACLU hasn’t worked out what changed and that it’s still 1956 in her head.

    Look for the moment when pride becomes contempt. (This line could be the epitaph for the whole post 2014 moment)

    Who is free to choose?

    Who is beyond the law?

    Who is healed?

    Who is housed?

    Who speaks?

    Who is silenced?

    Who salutes the longest?

    Who prays the loudest?

    Who dies first?

    Who laughs last?

  41. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Chicago has lots of wealthy empty nester ladies with excellent educations who love art.

    • Agree: Liza, HammerJack, pyrrhus
  42. Rob McX says:

    You often hear clueless whites whose organisations have been destroyed wonder what happened. “We were never political”. “We were always fair”. Or, “We never made race an issue”. But you can be sure others did.

  43. Mike Tre says:

    How long before two (or more) of the new paid negro docents getting videoed brawling and ripping each other’s weave’s out.

    Stein…. wait, that’s an old slave owner’s name, isn’t it?

    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
  44. Spud Boy says:

    I’d say,

    Build Back Blacker.

  45. notsaying says:

    It turns out the museum employees are going to get a union in, according to this article. It is not mentioned but it is hard not to think that a new union is not affecting the decision by the Woke at the museum to get rid of the docents. I am not anti-union but giving these woman the boot like they did is just so stupid and ungrateful..

    The woman who got rid of them says the docents can apply for the new jobs.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  46. @Old Prude

    There is irony that these docents, no-doubt nice, sophisticated white ladies with predominantly liberal views are getting abused by their pets. I feel bad for them, but maybe the experience will be salutary. These people hate you.

    And the museum’s Board of Trustees are probably also nice, sophisticated white people with predominantly liberal views, and they are the ones who appointed this obviously crazed POC (just look at her picture!) as museum director. Talk about hoist on your own petard.

  47. Dan says:

    Next step: start moving all those tired works by white people to the basement, replace them with street graffiti, statues of George Floyd, free admission to all people of color.

  48. Now this is what I call ‘cultural appropriation.’

  49. @the one they call Desanex

    De gustibus…etc. Can we agree though that Michelle is lucky she didn’t contract with the creator of the Sugar Sphinx?

  50. Anonymous[335] • Disclaimer says:

    How exactly is one a “volunteer” if she’s going to be paid \$25/hr?

    We have an “all-volunteer” U.S. military whose members make more, much more, in pay and benefits than they could make in the civilian world.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  51. @Dube

    Just don’t touch their hair.

    • LOL: Right_On
  52. Dumbo says:

    paid volunteers

    Oxymoron alert. If they are being paid, they are not strictly “volunteers”.

    Also, black people rarely visit museums, and in Covid times, increasingly less white people do.

    • Replies: @Barnard
  53. @Steve Sailer

    My wife’s widowed Aunt was an empty nester with lots of time on her hands. But not terribly flush with cash. She ended her days in a subsidized apartment. And yes, she was one of those “insufferable libtards”. Though she was courteous enough to “not go there” with us. And had some pretty good jokes I repeat to this day.

    We and our children had wonderful private excursions through a very highly respected local art museum. One with a lot of artifacts. As her guests.

  54. usNthem says:

    The grift that keeps on grifting…

  55. @the one they call Desanex

    I thought the Barack Obama portrait looked silly, but there was no extra finger.

    OK, I’m willing to call it a tentacle. Look more closely, while for example comparing it with your own hand. I doubted the artist he’d pick for his official painting would be that incompetent, but he absolutely was. After Obama’s left pinky, his hand does not end in the usual knife edge, there’s a weird fold of flesh that looks to be hiding something, tucking it under his normal set of fingers. We can’t see if it’s a finger or tentacle or whatever, but it’s entirely unnatural and a very prominent part of the painting. Also questionable composition, the hands in general draw the eye as much or more than his face, especially after you can’t unsee this problem.

    I do agree “the gray-skinned Michelle Obama portrait” is outright hideous in composition as well as color palette, while her husband’s portrait is merely weird and aside from the left hand gaffe not really unattractive (well, not counting the subject). One also gets the sense the artist knew what he wanted to do to create a … vibrant, shall I say, and somewhat striking painting, even if his execution was imperfect in one unfortunately prominent part. Michelle’s looks like it was phoned in.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    , @Skeptikal
  56. @Dan Hayes

    We’re back to Robert Conquest again [and his second law of politics]:

    2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

    A question – Who said it first: Robert Conquest or John O’Sullivan?

    I researched this once, and almost certainly Conquest, who’s a quarter century older then O’Sullivan, born in 1917 vs. 1942. I’m pretty sure Conquest formulated this or the full set of three laws before O’Sullivan’s birth or while the latter was still a child.

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @HA
    , @Steve Sailer
  57. Escher says:

    How soon before the AIC replaces the art of dead white males with the vibrant colors of the guy who made that eye catching painting of Obama?

  58. Rob says:
    @White Guy In Japan

    You are wrong, WGiJ. You see, slave owners had to provide their slaves with subsistence living. Room and board, however meager. In unpaid internships, one must have some alternate means of support. Typically parents, of course.

    For the upper-middle class and above this is a feature, not a bug. Only a certain sort of people can take these internships. These are the people the interns’ fathers want them to spend time with. They have friends he wants his daughter to date, etc.

    Unpaid internships in expensive cities keep out the riffraff. My sister told me once, “you are the riffraff.” I’ve done nothing to rise above that appellation.

    • Agree: Ben tillman
  59. Rob says:
    @Herp McDerp

    Because the paid diversity would be much worse at docenting than the white volunteers.

    Steve, I admire your restraint, but I feel this post needs a new title.

    “Docent into Madness”
    “Not Cheaper by the Docents”
    “Dollars and (Do)cents in Art”
    “I Respectfully Docent from this Decision”

  60. Carol says:

    Is this a new verb, “to diversity”?

    I like it!

  61. Old school Chicago … it would be interesting to follow the CVs of the DIE hires to see to whom they own their patronage.


    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  62. Anon[404] • Disclaimer says:

    The museum is going to see a real falling off of tourists if they are being conducted around by ghetto blacks stumbling over facts in their unintelligible and stupid ghetto accent.

    I also expect to see art works quietly stolen from the museum and sold on the international market to private individuals. You can’t have that many ghetto blacks working in an art museum without theft occurring.

    Heck, they might just do it in the open, saying the collection needs to get rid of all this old white guy stuff and replace it with incompetent black artistes of the latest fad variety.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  63. @Herp McDerp

    Read this before using that term again

    Short version: Sunk costs are perfectly acceptable to throw away.

    As for the Art Institute of Chicago: Also acceptable to throw away. The paintings can go elsewhere.

  64. Woodsie says:

    The new docents will de-construct the art according to critical race theory. American Gothic will be re-interpreted from the stoic visage of the land-bound farmer to the bitter faces of white people deprived of their slaves and now compelled to till the land themselves. How long will it be until…no, how SOON will we be reading that one of the vibrant diversifiers has defaced/spray-painted/torched/slashed/broken to pieces one of the museums masterpieces because it harmed her/his/thems feelings/psyche/identity?

    • Agree: Polistra
  65. ” Here’s the new Art Institute executive who fired the unpaid veteran docents: Veronica Stein.”

    More and more, modern life reminds me of the beginning of the film “Putney Swope” in which a black guy, when appointed chairman of the board of a large corporation, gets rid of all the sitting (white) board members and replaces them with blacks. The scene was played for laughs. In 1970, or whenever, I found it funny.

    Not so funny anymore.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    , @Art Deco
  66. fish says:
    @Redneck farmer

    High culture is rayciss, anyway.

    Minor Ebonic point of grammar, High culture be rayciss……

  67. Mike1 says:

    None of the old white ladies were doing the job because they love art. They were all doing it for status. Our society’s staggering dysfunction is directly downstream from old white ladies desperate desire for relevance and their endless fights to be on school boards, charities and things like getting PHD’s to work for free.

  68. Thea says:

    Future archaeologists will scratch their heads as they find piles of great art in our midden heaps.

  69. Meh;
    Like we really needed to have another reason to avoid downtown Chicago. Has anyone actually been down there recently? Make sure your auto insurance is paid up. And have theft coverage.

  70. J.Ross says:

    It is not enough to succeed, it is necessary that others should fail.

  71. J.Ross says:

    Derb-quibble tripped: is the museum a public institution and/or a recipient of tax money? Is this a union or a — museum lobby? Unions advocate for division of created profits after having enabled their creation. Lobbies (except for the NRA) steal from you with the help of the government.
    Detroit’s art museum started with private donors from the auto world but lately got into a bad enough way that they had to receive tax money from nearby county governments, and so it gives free admissions to residents of those counties. I don’t think it was ever a for-profit thing

    • Replies: @notsaying
    , @Old Prude
  72. J.Ross says:
    @Rob McX
    The lecture is an intriguing starting point and the larger site is a fantastic online museum and atelier.

    • Thanks: Rob McX
  73. Anon[118] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m amazed that there’s anyone in the city of Chicago that could look at a situation and think “You know what would make this better…….MORE BLACK PEOPLE!!!”

    • Replies: @Polistra
  74. AceDeuce says:

    “Dis’ heah a pai’-ting. Some ol’ cracka-ass ghey-ass bitch in Europe or China or some wheres done pain’ ited it a long time ago, when BLACK PEOPLE was in de grips ob de slabery. You bes’ be not thinkin’ about touching ny hair”

    “Dis heah a scuptcah. De ghey-ass white boy prob’ly made a BLACK MAN dig up de’ stone.”

    • Replies: @Bartleby the Scrivner
  75. Jack D says:

    Silly J. If the museum needs more money, Joe Biden will just print it. Those pesky rich white people won’t support the museum voluntarily? We’ll just tax that money away from them. Expropriate the expropriators who got rich by exploiting the people of color who really built this country.

    Museums are “infrastructure”. Polling shows that spending on infrastructure is popular while social spending is not. So we just call social spending “infrastructure” and it becomes popular. Problem solved!

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  76. Alfa158 says:

    I’ve been to the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a significant chunk of the other major museums of the US and Europe. Here’s the thing. Even in cities with large non-White majorities, for all practical purposes, all the patrons are White with a smattering of Asians. About the only black and brown people you see are the school kids who have been transported to the museum on outings.
    I see the museums in LA trying to shift their exhibits to put more emphasis on Latinx and African art in an effort to draw in more Patrons and Donors of Color, but the locals don’t care about even what is their own art. What they want to see is the Dodgers or Lakers. The opera and symphonies struggle to put in works by Composers of Color and hire more Performers of Color to bring in Patrons of Color. POC don’t care.

    • Agree: Polistra
  77. Wilkey says:
    @Herp McDerp

    What is preventing the AIC from creating a parallel program of paid Docents of Diversitude in addition to the existing program?

    Well apart from the glaring inequality in paying some of them but not others, I would guess that it would also reveal a glaring inequality in the docents. You would have excellent, gracious, well-educated volunteer docents along with crappy affirmative action hires who are mostly failed art school grads. And ironically only the bad ones would be getting paid.

    I suspect this was, in part, the result of a perfect storm: 1) elderly female docents frightened to come back because of COVID; 2) the racial reckoning set off by the overdose death of St. George of Floyd (peace and fentanyl be upon him); 3) a dramatic increase in the AIC’s endowment fund and donor contributions, thanks to five years of soaring stock market returns; 4) the hiring of a black woman as the “head of learning and public engagement,” who race-shamed them into acquiescing.

    Of course since the head of the AIC is a gay leftist, whose political contributions have all gone to gays and leftists, the last part probably wasn’t too hard to accomplish.

  78. Spud Boy says:

    I wonder what percentage of adult black females are either on welfare outright, or employed in make-work positions in government, academia, or government regulated organizations where they produce nothing of value.

    The only thing black women excel at producing are criminals.

  79. @Just another serf

    were insufferable libtards anyway.

    True, but the children are watching.

    (I’m joking, OK??)

  80. @Wilkey

    crappy affirmative action hires who are mostly failed art school grads.

    More likely former employees of McDonald’s or the DMV.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  81. @Herp McDerp

    Because that would not be sufficiently humiliating and degrading to the Nice White Lady Docents. Gotta make a stand for racial supremacy.

  82. Anonymous[831] • Disclaimer says:

    I guess one disadvantage of a vertical writing system is that you have to make a really tall hat in order to get your message across.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  83. Ralph L says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    OTOH, it captures her angry glare pretty well.

  84. Wilkey says:
    @Paperback Writer

    More likely former employees of McDonald’s or the DMV.

    Not likely. There are plenty of failed black art school grads. I would guess they will raise the pay before they submit to hiring uneducated docents. They think they can hire them for \$25 an hour in Chicago. Perhaps they can, perhaps they can’t. I wouldn’t know.

    Say 50 docents at perhaps \$60,000/year in salary and benefits comes to ~\$3 million a year. That sounds like a lot, but with the amount of money sloshing around these days among the super-rich it may not be all that difficult to fund.

    Then all we have to look forward to is the black docents burning and vandalizing the art works with various un-PC artists or subject matter the next time a “racial reckoning” arises, which probably won’t be too long now.

    • Agree: Polistra
  85. Forbes says:

    Hire a token to run the AIC, get tokenism is all respects. Pretty obvious.

  86. @Steve Sailer

    And here we have the same thing too. Except, the higher up the ranks one goes, (e.g. administrators), they tend to get paid. I mean, take the older docents younger counterparts, the curators. Curators definitely get paid since it’s a full time career. All the way up and down the line, for the most part, museum workers get paid so they can make a career out of it. In this case, the POCs are correct: show us the money and then we’ll come to work.

    Was looking on a career website,, they tend to break down various careers by gender and race/ethnicity. For museum curators and guides, ca.70% are women, 25% men, and 5% other. About 80% of museum curators and guides are white, ca. 10% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and about 4% other (black). Museum docents tend to follow roughly the same pattern as well.

    So if the demographics breakdowns for museum curators and guides are similar for docents, then clearly its a SWPL woman kind of thing, with the more mature women of means doing the docent volunteer work, and their younger female counterparts (sometimes daughters, nieces, etc) doing the paid career tour guide and curators.

    For the long term, apparently being a museum curator can be a highly lucrative career for women. Especially if they land a curating position at a prestigious museum.

    Irony is that, more and more Americans, (particularly the younger generations) aren’t going to museums in the numbers that they did in previous generations. It’s not relevant to their lives anymore.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  87. @Rob

    “Just because you’re not getting paid docent mean we can’t fire you.”

    • Replies: @Rob
  88. jcd1974 says:

    As someone who plans their vacations around exhibitions at art museums, my observation is that on the rare times I’ve seen a black man in an art museum they are almost always with a white woman (and always assume it was her idea).

  89. JMcG says:

    Not just museums. I’ve been to Gettysburg a good few times and I could count the number of blacks that are unaffiliated with school trips I’ve seen there on one hand. They couldn’t care less.

    • Agree: AceDeuce
  90. Anonymous[234] • Disclaimer says:

    Example # MMXXXIX of how anti-while racism is fully normalized by now.

    One more small step toward civilizational suicide.

    The writing was on the wall already at least a few decades back but practically nobody could be bothered to pay attention. Now it is too late. Yes, too late. Select few will sacrifice themselves thinking that they can make a difference but it will have zero effect overall. The Western civilization will be destroyed before it has a chance to be rebuilt. And it will take several generations at a minimum.

    It will most definitively not stop at Brazil 2.0, as so many moderates appear to hope.

    • Agree: Polistra
  91. Marie H says:

    My husband and I went to Chicago about 20 years ago. We spent about half a day at the AIC. It contains some great works of art. I don’t remember going with a docent as my husband and I know a lot about art. He majored in physics and I in economics. We both just really like art. I would be dubious about a young, black docent explaining European, 19th century art to me. Ditto, a young, white docent. I am disgusted by the change at AIC.

    My sister was, not now because of covid, a docent at an art museum in a college town in the South. She is a retired art professor. Replacing her knowledge with a young, black’s knowledge would not enhance the experience.

  92. @Steve Sailer

    I’ve had Janson’s book since college. It is wonderful. His Wikipedia bio does not seem to include Chicago, but it includes this hilarious, iStevey stuff:


    Janson’s signature contribution to the discipline of art history, specifically to the teaching of art history, is his survey text entitled simply History of Art, which was first published in 1962 and has since become the standard by which current art history textbooks are measured.

    Feminist critiques Despite or perhaps because of the popularity and influence of History of Art, it came under increased scrutiny by art historians, who sought a more inclusive story of Western art. According to feminist art historians Norma Broude and Mary Garrard: “Women artists in the 1950s and 1960s suffered professional isolation not only from one another, but also from their own history, in an era when women artists of the past had been virtually written out of the history of art, H.W. Janson’s influential textbook, History of Art, first published in 1962, contained neither the name nor the work of a single woman artist. In thus excluding women from the history of art (…).”

    Janson’s rejection of all female artists has marred his reputation as an art historian, because his books paint only a half picture, omitting any art not done by men. His refusal to acknowledge women extends to the celebrated artist Idelle Weber. Sam Hunter, then curator at MoMA, introduced her to Janson, who admired Weber’s work but stated that he did not include women painters in his books.

    I have to say that I am a fan of Georgia O’Keeffe, and that Janson briefly does mention her in my edition of his book.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  93. AceDeuce says:

    Unpaid internships in expensive cities keep out the riffraff.

    Of course, that’s exactly how Monica Lewinsky came to DC,

  94. @Alfa158

    Once I chaperoned an attentive, well-behaved home school group at an Oakland science museum. We were in a large room where visitors could build things from wooden pieces. A docent (staffer) came over to me and warned that we would be wise to soon leave: Busloads of local, public school kids were scheduled to arrive.

    The young docents at a large, SF science museum are a pretty diverse group, easily identified by their bright orange vests. They do nothing but walk around all day talking on their phones. The museum was founded by Frank Oppenheimer. The austere, legacy exhibits make their scientific points very well. The contemporary displays feature works of geometric, crappy modem art, noisy electronica, and dire warnings about AGW. But the biggest emphasis is on the cafeteria and gift shop.


    I agree that it’s outrageous how the [left-wing, politically connected] insiders, at these tax-supported institutions make six figures (the executive director makes \$400K), but folks at the lowest level, who add the most value (as far as ticket buyers are concerned), are often unpaid.

    The most abusive example is big-time, NCAA football. The coach makes \$2M/yr, his numerous assistants \$250K, but the players are officially barred from receiving direct compensation; there’s been some long overdue reform in that area, recently.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  95. @Change that Matters

    I’d wager most of the more valuable paintings will be sold out the back door before then.

    • Agree: Polistra
  96. My educated speculation, these older White women, were not only volunteering there time, they are likely monetarily generous as well. Demographically, they are probably quite affluent. One thinks personal and family gifts to the institute and in all likelihood conduits to additional wealth via fund raisers and there personal networks. Are any estate plans being reworked to now exclude the Art Institute of Chicago of bequeathments? LOL Of course it’s always amusing to see the consequences of Pandora’s box that was opened by these limousine liberals.

  97. Marie H says:

    I was curious about other great art museums in black cities so I looked up Baltimore Museum of Art which I have visited many times. It contains some monumental pieces of 19th century art including a collection of Matisse’s work which was donated by the Cohn sisters, two white women.
    In 2018, the BMA sold 7 works of art to buy new works by black artists according to a site on the Internet. I have no idea what was sold or purchased but the trend is not good.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @res
  98. 2BR says:

    Sorry, there is no such thing, legally, as a paid position open only to the diverse. That is an automatic lawsuit and a winner for the plaintiffs. The museum has already created evidence against itself. This is all nonsense.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  99. This is another glaring example that merit has to be destroyed to make way for equality. Art, knowledge of art, and the volunteer spirit all have merit. These things must be eliminated so blacks will somehow be equal.
    And the docents were quite openly fired for being white. The officials made no effort to hide it – they announced that they were firing qualified volunteers solely due to their ugly white skin.

  100. @Just another serf

    Art is for a rising, aspirational culture, not a conquered people.

    Not sure about this claim. Isn’t degenerate art (entartete Kunst) meant for a conquered people?

  101. Mr. Anon says:
    @Change that Matters

    In what year will the Art Institute of Chicago burn paintings by old white males? I’m guessing 2029, but at the rate things are going I’m not putting money on it.

    First to go will be those by Hunter Biden.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  102. Mr. Anon says:

    You would have excellent, gracious, well-educated volunteer docents along with crappy affirmative action hires who are mostly failed art school grads. And ironically only the bad ones would be getting paid.

    I suspect most of them will be X-studies majors, and rather than lecturing on art they will be hectoring school tours with intersectional grievance theology.

    People will stop going to museums. They will become just another thing we can no longer have. Perhaps the homeless could be housed there.

    I no longer care. Let it burn. Let it all burn.

  103. @Anon

    This is a repeat of what happened with corporate and NPO interns…

    Internships are a fraud to get around minimum wage laws. Rich kids put up with them to make connections. This can pay off in the long run, or they wouldn’t do it.

    • Agree: Cortes
  104. @Just another serf

    Yep. Bring the pain to those who hate us. Those NWLs would cheer the firing of any one of us for our beliefs, so I can’t help but feel tremendous joy at them getting a small taste of their own medicine.

    • Replies: @bigdicknick
  105. anon[163] • Disclaimer says:

    Check out Changethemuseum on Instagram. The level of hatred zoomer and biopic museum staffers have for the “Karens” in charge will take your breath away.

    • Replies: @RonaldB
  106. huisache says:

    re the Obama portraits: I had recently visited the National Portrait Gallery for the first time and found the fare ranged from excellent to mediocre with a decent number that were interesting without being either. For example, there is one of John Unitas I thought interesting from a perspective standpoint.

    When I read about the Obamas I found it disgusting that they were so large. 5′ by 7′. The average in the gallery was about 20r 3′ by 3 or 4′. What possessed these two to have portraits exhibited for history which dwarf Lincoln? or other more significant, outstanding presidents? Or generals, etc?

    It is a token of the times that there was no outrage at the narcissistic display by a mediocre president and his pouting spouse.

    I hate to think what the successor narcissist might inflict on us: hopefully, he is so out of it that he will contribute a selfie.

  107. anon[163] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    But who came first- Kehinde Wiley or his studio chief Ain Cocke?

  108. During the September 2001–September 2002
    reference period, women volunteered at a higher
    rate (31.1 percent) than did men (23.8 percent), a
    relationship that held across age groups, education
    levels, and other major demographic characteristics.
    The gap between the volunteer rates of men and
    women tended to be greater among groups with
    relatively high rates, such as whites and the more
    highly educated. (See table 1.)

    Whites had a considerably higher volunteer rate
    (29.4 percent) than blacks (19.2 percent).
    Individuals of Hispanic origin, who may be of any
    race, had the lowest rate, at 15.7 percent. This
    pattern held true for all age groups.

    People aged 35 to 54 years are more likely to
    volunteer than those who are younger or older.
    About 1 in 3 people between the ages of 35 and 54
    volunteered, a rate that may be partly explained by
    the fact that a great many individuals of those ages
    have teenaged or younger children at home. Parents with their own children under age 18 were more likely to volunteer than persons with no children
    that age, with volunteer rates of 36.5 percent and
    23.7 percent, respectively. Parents often volunteer
    for organizations in which their children participate.
    Partly because married people are more likely to
    have children than are unmarried people, volunteer
    rates were higher among married persons (32.7
    percent) than among the never married (21.2
    percent) or persons of other marital status (22.1

  109. Can you say, “Breach of fiduciary duty”?

  110. Kylie says:

    Good. I hope some vibrant museum goer decides to engage in unilateral combat with the art works housed there.

    I used to find Dominique’s deliberate destruction of a beautiful vase in The Fointainhead inexplicable. Half a century after reading the novel, I finally understand the impulse. I don’t necessarily approve of it. But I understand it.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  111. notsaying says:

    As the article I linked to says, it is a real union:

    “The union would be part of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 10,000 workers at 91 museums nationwide and more than 25,000 library workers at 275 public and private libraries, including the Chicago Public Library.

    In recent years, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles have formed unions with AFSCME.”

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  112. Barnard says:

    I have been wondering when we would have the first incident of museum staff throwing open the doors during a vibrant protest to let thugs destroy the art. The Art Institute of Chicago just became very likely to be the first one.

  113. Pericles says:

    “Dis paintin was done by whitey an has a lot of whiteys in it. De next one too. Let’s move on.”

    Where will this end? It’s high time to start repatriating all those old masters to where they came from.

    • LOL: Kylie
  114. @Rob McX

    Any organisation that does not actively look out for whites will eventually become anti-white.

    The corollary to that:
    Any organization that does not explicitly reject blacks will have to accommodate them, and blacks can only be accommodated by hatred of whites.

  115. J.Ross says:

    Ah, so it’s not a union.

  116. cityview says:

    I think they probably will hire some, but that the program will be smaller. I completely agree with your last sentence.

    Some general replies to several comments: I don’t think this is the first major museum to overhaul its docent program. I remember something like this happening maybe ten or fifteen years ago on the East Coast. Other than captive-audience school groups (which I always thought was the main reason for docent programs), don’t most adult visitors either conduct themselves around museums or rent the audio tours? I know I don’t want assistance. I do want quiet, and most big art museums haven’t been quiet in decades.

    I don’t think these women are wealthy or that their families gave artwork to the museum. I think they are mostly comfortable, with some a little less so. Thirty years ago they would have been very proud that they had a college degree (and they would have been older then), but now that isn’t remarkable at all. My guess is that most were coming from close-in older suburbs like Wilmette and Winnetka. I doubt most live in the city, where, once again, I don’t see wealthy people. I see their buildings, probably dominated by offsite owners, many being foreign nationals.

    Of course the museum can get black college graduates; there are loads of them, and black BFAs and MFAs.

    If I visit the Art Institute–and I’m not eager to do so–when the weather is cooler, I can report back. I very much doubt their visitors are all-white. They probably get a good number of foreign nonwhite tourists, judging from N. Michigan farther north.

  117. Don’t publish stories like this. They get me all excited and irritated.

  118. Rob McX says:

    The history of whites for the past fifty years reminds me of the beginning of The Hudsucker Proxy, in a metaphorical sort of way.

    Everything is going great in Waring Hudsucker’s company, with a rosy future ahead for the board and the shareholders. Then, for no reason whatsoever, Hudsucker takes a running jump and throws himself out of the 44th floor window.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  119. HA says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “I’m pretty sure Conquest formulated this or the full set of three laws before O’Sullivan’s birth or while the latter was still a child.”

    According to Martin Vogel, it was probably in the 1960’s or possibly late 50’s:

    The problem with this is that the second of these three laws appears to come not from Robert Conquest but John O’Sullivan, a former advisor to Margaret Thatcher. This casts doubt on the accuracy of the whole idea of Conquest’s three laws. Eventually, I turned to Twitter for assistance and was enlightened by Mary Elwin. She found an earlier version of the aphorism attributed to Conquest by both Kingsley Amis and Andrew Brown.

  120. @JMcG

    My favorite type of docent is one who was there, e.g. the old guy-volunteers who show up at the old Alameda navy base to give tours of the USS Hornet. I was hoping for a similar experience at Gettysburg Battlefield, but alas all the guys were uniformed, NPS bureaucrats.

  121. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    I have made this observation on here before, but I suspect it is those who are most generous to blacks who will be the most punished going forward. see the treatment of white teachers in nyc schools or this. blacks are ravenous towards the feeding hand.

    • Agree: Nicholas Stix
  122. vinteuil says:

    I’m missing how exactly this isn’t a paying job to begin with.

    Showing people around, say, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, or the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, is something I would happily pay many thousands of bucks to be allowed to do.

    The Chicago Art Institute? Well, I wouldn’t pay to do it, but I’d sure as heck do it for free.

  123. @The Alarmist

    Old school Chicago

    Wonderful old movie about ChiTown.

  124. Uncle Dan says:

    I’m surprised the new director hasn’t complained the museum is full of paintings and artists so white, that the people of Chicago can’t “relate” to, and made appropriate changes. Perhaps they could ship the paintings to Japan or South Korea, where they would be appreciated.

  125. vinteuil says:

    Dominique’s deliberate destruction of a beautiful vase in The Fountainhead

    …because she couldn’t let something so beautiful exist is such a corrupt world…

    Ayn Rand was a crazy woman – but she had her moments of genius.

    • Agree: Kylie
  126. Dan Hayes says:
    @Rob McX

    Also seems to what have happened to the Roman Catholic Church upon its self-imposed Vatican II Council! Bergoglio is just delivering the coup de grace to its much-diminished remnant!!

  127. Uncle Dan says:
    @White Guy In Japan

    Nobody volunteers for “slavery.” The word for someone who voluntarily works for love is “amateur.”

  128. Jack D says:

    (the executive director makes \$400K),

    A few years ago I found out that the head of the PBS station in Philly makes over \$1 million per year. That was the year I stopped giving to Philly PBS. Of course their politics are ridiculously Leftist – the PBS News Hour is basically a replay of Democrat Party talking points. If the Democrats are pushing free child care that week they will have some sob story about a woman who has no child care. But they do some worthwhile stuff and have fewer commercials than other stations so I didn’t mind giving them a few measly bucks. But I’ll be damned to give them money so that they can pay some executive 7 figures.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  129. Uncle Dan says:
    @Herp McDerp

    Why clutter up the place with picked-for-color girls who know little about these lily white artists and subjects except they resent them?

  130. cityview says:

    I have thought for years that the nonprofit system is horribly exploitive, as is the intern system, which itself has been going for about forty years. Internships removed paying jobs permanently from young and not so young workers who needed them. These older women–and many others like them–never should have participated in their own unpaid exploitation. Let it go. Like just about every employer, the museum likely wants young workers who will only stay a few years and move on, even taking race out of this. I don’t think these jobs are any great prize, and outside the museum’s doors it looks trashy.

  131. vinteuil says:

    Curators should, at least, pay for the privilege of doing what they do. Docents should, at least, work for free.

    It’s just ridiculous for people to be paid for indulging themselves in what they love doing.

  132. Jack D says:
    @Marie H

    Matisse’s work which was donated by the Cohn sisters, two white women.

    If they were Leftists, they would be called two Jewish women.

    Actually their name was Cone (Anglicized from Kahn), a German Jewish family that had come over in the 1840s. Their (childless) brother was the owner of Cone Mills, a major producer of denim in NC and supplier to Levi Strauss to this day. The family made a LOT of money as a supplier to the War Dept. during WWI, some of which they used to buy art. The sisters were friends of Gertrude and Leo Stein, who had a similar background and the Steins turned them on to Matisse. They were not keen on Picasso’s lifestyle , which was too bohemian and libertine for their taste. Matisse’s art was radical but he himself was a proper gentleman and a family man.

    The Baltimore Art Museum sits on the campus of Johns Hopkins University which in turn sits in the middle of the ghetto of Baltimore (it’s hard to find any part of Baltimore that is NOT a ghetto). I can’t imagine that there will be too many more rounds of Peaceful Protests before the museum and the whole Hopkins campus go up in flames. I suppose the leadership is trying to ingratiate itself to “the community” but the community really doesn’t GAF about art.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  133. @Rob

    Humor is often lost on the internet. Yes, technically, you are correct.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  134. We were enjoying a grilled dinner outside in the beautiful autumn weather (hi 81F today) here in the Chicago Bungalow Belt, until I read this after dinner and upset my wife and several friends with this news. Sigh…

    • Replies: @Old Prude
  135. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The Art Institute of Chicago is not a public institution.

  136. @International Jew

    The next phase (if it hasn’t started already) will be to replace the works of unpaid white artists (such as Monet and Goya — they’re not drawing a paycheck anymore) with diverse artists who will accept a check, like that guy behind polydactylic trapped-in-a-hedgerow Barack Obama.

    Yep, the problem isn’t just the docents, it’s a collection full of dead white male “art”.

    Fortunately, i’ve toured the AIC a few times, spent several hours there, and have a solution:

    To AIC curators: I’m willing to remove–at no charge (but will take \$25 an hour if you insist)–several pieces of your collection of dead white male art, so you’ll have room for more diverse BIPOC art.

  137. JMcG says:

    B52 pilots make how much? Boeing 777 pilots make how much?

    • Replies: @Polistra
    , @AndrewR
  138. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:

    So the people who actually worked for free were fired for insufficient negrosity and replaced by uneducated non-workers at \$50K a year. Gotcha. It’s Chicago, Jake.

    • Agree: Hibernian
  139. JMcG says:

    The battlefield tours are guided by non-NPS professionals. Many are very good indeed. The National Battlefield Headquarters itself is almost worthless. The displays aren’t very interesting, and the film the show in the theater isn’t helpful in understanding the battle. The employees there are the bureaucrats of which you speak.

  140. Jack D says:

    Too late for that now, but when my 99 year old mother in law was in elementary school (in the early 1930s) white bearded Civil War vets (then in their 80s) would sometimes come by to tell them about their war experiences. So we have only 2 degrees of separation from them to us.

  141. res says:
    @Marie H

    I have no idea what was sold or purchased but the trend is not good.

    There is a May 10, 2021 article in the Baltimore Sun titled:
    Baltimore Museum of Art sold seven paintings for \$16.1M. The money paid for these ‘superstars’ of tomorrow.

    That article links a 2018 article which lists the paintings sold.

    Going up for sale at Sotheby’s in May are two artworks by Warhol (“Oxidation Painting” from 1978 and “Hearts” from 1979) and one each by Kline (“Green Cross” from 1956) and Rauschenberg (“Bank Job” from 1979). Rounding out the seven are three paintings by lesser-known artists: Kenneth Noland’s “Lapis Lazuli” from 1963 and “In-Vital” from 1982, along with Jules Olitski’s “Before Darkness II” from 1973.

    Kline’s painting alone is expected to fetch between \$6 and \$8 million, while Warhol’s “Oxidation Painting,” should bring in between \$2 million and \$3 million, according to a spokesman for Sotheby’s in New York, which is handling the sales. Five works will be sold at auction on May 16 and 17, while two extremely large artworks — Warhol’s “Hearts” and the Rauschenberg — will be put up for private sale.

    The theory is the museum has other, better, works by those artists.

    The big question is whether the works (125 total) being purchased are any good? Or is it just affirmative action for art?

    The first article mentions a later sale of three paintings being canceled because of the backlash.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  142. Jack D says:

    “Deaccessioning” is considered to be extremely bad form in the museum world – something that should be done only as a last resort, like burning your furniture for heat. Museums are supposed to be places where art that was formerly hidden away in private collections is made accessible to everyone, not vice versa. Donors give their painting so that they will be seen (with a little plaque indicating the donor), not so that they will be sold to other rich people for cash. “Deaccessioning” is a signal to future donors that their gift is not sacrosanct. TBH, Baltimore probably doesn’t expect a lot of future donations anyway – anyone white with serious \$ has left town and blacks don’t give to art museums.

    It’s a relief though that the stuff that they sold was modern garbage and not their precious Matisse paintings.

    Green Cross:

    This fetched “only ” \$5 million, not the \$6 to 8 estimate.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    , @vinteuil
  143. @nokangaroos

    This means they’re coming after the produce section of my local grocery store next, doesn’t it.

  144. @Verymuchalive

    True enough, only it’s important to note that what’s happening at the Art Institute is the rule, not the exception, in Current Year America. It’s everywhere.

  145. Polistra says:

    You might be surprised how similar the pay scales are, so long as you leave out the oldest commercial pilots.

  146. @White Guy In Japan

    I believe he was extending your joke actually, though it would have been more skilful (as well as more effective) if he’d deleted the first several words and just started with “Slaves…”

  147. duncsbaby says:

    I haven’t been to the Art Institute of Chicago or the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for a few years now. I used to go to both at least once a year. I have noted in the past that the AIC almost completely employed blacks as museum guards while the MIA almost exclusively employed whites. The AIC black guards were as well completely uninterested in the art per se and just stood around looking bored while the MIA white guards were sometimes actually friendly and knowledgeable about the art on display. I suppose if I ever get back to the MIA for a visit they will have gone the Chicago route and employed sullen and bored looking blacks and changed out the Roman statue displayed prominently in a very pleasing rotunda on the 2nd floor for a rock like bust of St. George Floyd. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already done so.

  148. Polistra says:

    The museum is going to see a real falling off of tourists if they are being conducted around by ghetto blacks stumbling over facts in their unintelligible and stupid ghetto accent.

    I doubt it. Most people under the age of 40 have been marinating in wokacity their whole lives, and have been taught well by teevee that what you describe is the only kind of righteous and authentic cred, and that facts and old school art and science are just further manifestations of white supremacy etc etc.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  149. Polistra says:

    People look at everything that way now. It’s how they’re trained. As a corollary, you and I might think it’d be hard to look at the parlous state of our country today and think that the obvious fix would be to admit tens of millions more third-world migrants. But that’s exactly what people think. Including important people. So that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

  150. @That Would Be Telling

    I’m sure O’Sullivan and Conquest knew each other.

  151. When it comes to modern art, blacks might be more authentic in their reactions: WTF???

    Incidentally, what’s Jerry Coyne’s take on race? Is it the brand of agnosticism known as don’t ask, don’t tell?

  152. Dani says:

    @anon – WOW – are you serious? I know, of course you are. I am not surprised to hear this but still adjusting to the fact there is now so much open hatred towards white people who do not at all deserve it. I would not attempt to assume ANYTHING about these former, white docents. I am sick to death of hearing the “Karen” thing and have NEVER used this expression. I will never use it, either. Who in the F came up with it and how is it so many white people readily adapted to this awful, anti-white, unwarranted label? White people can be so GD stupid and this is part of the reason why we are in the position we are.
    I will resist the urge to read the comments you mentioned. I think I made an Instagram account in 2016 but haven’t used it since – why start now?

  153. @nokangaroos

    But don’t you see? If they get black workers, black people will start turning out in droves because that
    was what was keeping them away. Soon the museum will be over flowing with all these black art lovers who were just being kept away by those pasty white docents who didn’t know how to talk to
    black people about impressionist art. That will do the trick. I’m positive that by the anniversary of
    this firing of the competent to be replaced by the ignorant, attendance will be at record numbers. Yeah.
    That will happen the same time Joe Biden will cite Lincoln’s Gettysburg address from memory without
    using a teleprompter.

  154. Polistra says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Mine includes Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt, and Frida Kahlo among others. I find it hard to believe that Janson ignored Cassatt in particular but who knows. Perhaps wiki is just trying to rease awareness as usual. Facts are generally irrelevant when you’re engaged in important woke. Work, I mean. Work.

    Sam Hunter, then curator at MoMA, introduced her to Janson, who admired Weber’s work but stated that he did not include women painters in his books.

    I’m a bit skeptical of this hearsay non-quote quote.

  155. Polistra says:
    @Jack D

    The medical center is in a very rough part of town but the main campus straddles between reasonably decent ‘hoods to the south [chas village] and Baltimore’s very best neighborhoods to the north [guilford, roland pk]. To the west is funky Hampden.

  156. Polistra says:

    LOL! Thanks for ringing in from 50 years ago, and please do tell me how to get there.

  157. AndrewR says:

    Oh, good lord, boomer. Wokeness has roots going back decades (or more, if one wants to get really deep), but from a cultural perspective, 2011 had more in common with 1971 than with 2021. Most “people under 40” have barely watched any TV since before the Great Awokening of the last decade.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  158. AndrewR says:

    These are exceptions, along with some medical personnel. But the military subsidizes one’s training in these areas and gives an excellent resumé booster as well.

  159. Old Prude says:

    “Non-profit” is bunk. If the director is pulling in 300 large, then its “for Profit, for him”. Like-wise all the curators making six figures. I watched the PMA for years charge the public a few bucks to get in. That revenue stream would get swamped every year by some swell donating tens of millions, literally, to the museum.

    Perhaps the only reason to keep charging the public is to keep out the street people.

  160. Old Prude says:
    @Eric Novak

    I knew Mrs. Prude would be interested, but upset, so I kept this story to myself. The world is a mess. No need to scare the women and children. Sorry you spoiled your BBQ.

  161. Goddard says:
    @Just another serf

    … not a conquered people.

    The truth of that statement is sinking in. We are a conquered People. First British-Isles Americans loosened their grip on America; now all white people have lost control. America is lost to the white man. The future is another mestizo Mud People, like India or “Latin” America.

    It occurred to me recently that I, descended in large part from settlers who arrived in America in the 17th and 18th centuries, have a bloodline of ancestors who have never been conquered. From the Middle Ages to the present day, my blood has always been the conquering race, never the conquered. None of my ancestors had to learn the language of a conquering foe. My ancestors never gave up territory; they won and held territory. No greater prize than America. A whole continent for the white man!

    In just a few generations, whites pissed that inheritance away. Henceforth whites will be an element in Mud People culture. Never again will America be a land for white expansion …

  162. @El Dato

    “Dis be Slavemaster Holdin’ a Pitch.
    At de lef’ be de slavemaster’s bitch.
    But what makes it okay
    Is de painter was gay,
    Pokin’ fun at de plantation rich.”

  163. RonaldB says:

    I think you’re confounding “guard” with “docent”.

  164. RonaldB says:

    “biopic museum staffers”

    A biopic is a biographical movie. I have no idea of what you’re talking about.

  165. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    I think you are thinking of Europe, which has a different system for museums. The museums there are taxpayer funded, so they can afford to pay docents. Here in America they traditionally have been funded by wealthy people, so they can’t afford to pay docents. In fact, the docents often give money to the museum. (From that standpoint, firing them is a really dumb move since they may stop giving.)

    This is info from my wife, who a number of years ago taught docents at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where the docents also worked for free. They were generally middle-aged wealthy women.

  166. @Wilkey

    If a few of those art school grads get inspired to take up learning how to draw, then it won’t have been a total waste.

  167. Anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dan Hayes

    John O’Sullivan said it first, in 1989.

    No one ever suggested it was Conquest until Derbyshire in 2003.

    Conquest’s first law is old, first published in maybe 1977. O’Sullivan published the 2nd and 3rd together in 1989, claiming credit for the 2nd and attributing the 3rd to Conquest. Probably Conquest only coined it in 1989, in response to O’Sullivan. As O’Sullivan says, they are both variants of the much older Iron Law of Oligarchy, by Robert Michels. (Although I’m not sure the version he gives is really due to Michels. This form is now attributed to Pournelle, but only recently.)

  168. AceDeuce says:

    2011 had more in common with 1971 than with 2021.


    Cucky wuck, you need schooling.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  169. res says:
    @Jack D

    Thanks for the Sotheby’s link. The Warhol went for a bit more than the \$2-3 million estimate I quoted.

    Andy Warhol
    Oxidation Painting
    urine and metallic pigment in acrylic on canvas

    Estimate 2,500,000 – 3,500,000 USD
    Sold 3,375,000 USD

    I don’t know if any of those paintings were donated.

  170. @Jack D

    I found that painting in my underwear once. If I’d known it was worth \$5 million, I wouldn’t have washed my briefs.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  171. vinteuil says:
    @Jack D

    It’s a relief though that the stuff that they sold was modern garbage and not their precious Matisse paintings.

    “Precious Matisse?” He’s about the mid-point in the decline that led to “modern garbage” like Green Cross.

  172. John_H says:

    Aside from the obvious shortsightedness of this program being foisted on the community by Veronica Stein to include women of color into the museum’s program. Firing 125 well educated and trained volunteer docents to replace them with an unspecified number of uneducated (in the museum’s 300,000 pieces of art) and untrained in the continued education requirements at \$25.00 per hour, seems, at best, altruism toward the women of color and at its worse, a terrible strain on the museum’s budget.
    So my question is this:
    Where does the Board of Directors stand on this misuse of Museum funds?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  173. @RonaldB

    As I recall, many of the “guards”, as you classified them, appeared to be UCB [Art History] students. Give a leftist a little power ..

    While I’m on the subject, I oppose tax funding of elite institutions, like art museums. Some of us don’t care about preservation of “our heritage”.

    The reality is that some rich person, frustrated that no true art lover shares their questionable taste any longer (if ever), who couldn’t sell their junk pieces at any price,

    • “donates” them to a museum.
    • receives admiration and a tax deduction for the gift.
    • forever sucks taxpayers’ blood with the gift’s vampire-like, eternal life.

  174. Art Deco says:

    She is not the executive director. The director is James Rondeau, who appears to be implementing a woke-tard program through her. Veronica Stein’s title is “‘women’s board director of learning and public engagement’. She is 41 years old and has degrees in film and photography and in ‘arts education’. She has no research degree and had to put in 10 years as a registered student to acquire the degrees she has (one from the state university in Chicago and one from the Art Institute itself). On her Linkedin, she lists no employment history other than the current position held. She lists lots of ‘projects’ and ‘public speaking’ instead. I tend to doubt she was the most impressive applicant for the job. She started work there in April.

    The surname she’s using is rather peculiar for a black woman. It is her mother’s actual maiden name, acquired by the family some time prior to 1940. Her father’s name is “Roland Roches”, which sounds creole.

  175. raga10 says:

    Ending exploitation of unpaid workers by replacing them with paid workers should be celebrated in my opinion.

    My position on volunteering in general is that if a job is worth doing, it is worth getting paid for.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  176. JMcG says:

    We finally get everybody mounting a vigorous defense of white women, and Rosie and Alden are nowhere to be found.

    • LOL: Hibernian
  177. Art Deco says:

    Boards are generally lickspittles of top management.

    Hiring this woman and then allowing her to do something so witlessly destructive indicates that the purpose of the museum to to provide paid employment for the onanistic fools who work there, not to perform actual services for an interested public. Have a gander at Ms. Stein’s CV and you will not find the character string ‘art history’ or any variant of it. To what extent could she function as a competent docent? You also will not find her previous employers listed.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  178. Art Deco says:

    It’s a philanthropic corporation. They run on donations. The donations can be in kind or in cash.

  179. @Anonymous

    Haha, good one, #831. You probably know, but they long ago went to left-to-right over there. I bet that switch was a bitch… for anyone still literate after the Cultural Revolution.

    Maybe that guy’s got another Chinaman on inside that hat, who’s got his own tall hat, with another Chinaman inside it… till you get to Little Chinaman Z.

  180. @Buzz Mohawk

    I’m truly LOLing at that one, Buzz.

    I have a serious problem with this “Green Cross” that Jack D. displayed. I am pretty sure my kid painted that in pre-school, but I just can’t prove it. IP-thieving bastards!

  181. AndrewR says:

    School me, gramps

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  182. AceDeuce says:

    Talk nice, boy–I probably pronged your mama.

    Ain’t interested in trying to pour a gallon of knowledge into a shot glass of a brain. No, I’ll just let you flail and talk about your little fantasies, and I’ll laugh and call you out. You’re harmless-and clueless.

    And when I think of your future, I’ll laugh even harder. Ain’t gonna be pretty, boy.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  183. @Abolish_public_education

    Same deal at Floyd Bennett Field, in Brooklyn.

    If anyone’s interested in the history of aviation there’s a great place called Hangar B, manned by hardcore enthusiastic old codgers. It’s closed now due to the bad cold known as Covid.

    And don’t tell anyone about it, it’s good, and since we have to destroy anything good I don’t want this generally known.

  184. They will sell off some of the paintings to make room for artworks about famous rappers, such as this bust of the Notorious B.I.G. that will be displayed at the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum in Harlem (if they ever finish building the museum, still under construction)
    Hey, couldn’t they just set up their HHHOF inside the Art Institute . . . naw, a hiphop museum has to be in NYC.

  185. AndrewR says:

    My mom had low standards but nowhere near low enough for you. Meanwhile your niece calls me daddy

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  186. pyrrhus says:
    @Mike Tre

    The Art Institute is mainly famous for its great collection of Impressionist painters…Wonder if this new Director and her new “docents” know anything about those old white people?

  187. “I don’t know the answer, though surely some minority docents might have different points of view about art, a reason implied by the AIC’s response in the Tribune.”

    No, they won’t. They will have the same point of view that all intellectually unqualified, morally unfit blacks have in every job for which they’re hired to diversify the place: We hate White people, and everything they do or have ever done.

  188. Skeptikal says:

    “What traditionally is or was called a museum guide (or tour guide) has always been a paying job.”


    There is a very long and strong tradition of unpaid docents in most museums I have come across. Including in our local historical society (now redubbed X Museum).

    There is a lot of social history to this—far too much to go into here.

    A little imagination should serve to fill in a few historical blanks. There are definite multiple social class issues here. The bottom line for me is that this is unfair to the docents as individuals, and they are being subjected to racist discrmination because of being members of a particular race.

    I wonder how many of the new paid guides have shown any independent interest in the AIC’s holdings on their own.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  189. Skeptikal says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I don’t see that Janson had any particular connection to the Art Institute of Chicago.

    I don’t see that Gombrich did, either.

    Whoever the author was, perhaps it was easier to get permission to use images of the artworks if he was connected with the AIC. Which is, however, AFAIK, not connected directly to any university

  190. Skeptikal says:
    @Cool Daddy Jimbo

    “what little I know about art, artists, and art lovers leads me to believe that nearly 100% of the volunteers were huge supporters of BLM. Bumper stickers, signs in the yard, donations, the whole works. So, welcome to anti-racism, ladies. ”

    You probably do in fact know very little.

    AFAIK we have no idea who any of the docents are, their backgrounds, their views.

    Their supposed political views are in any case irrelevant. The challenging training program they completed and their actual work is the only relevant info—they made the grade, quality-wise. They have been very unfairly treated, and openly insulted. (BTW, are they ALL women? Are they ALL white?)

    If paid positions are being created, they should be offered to the experienced docents FIRST. That should really be obvious. They have seniority. You can’t just fire one group and replace them with another. I should think this would actually be actionable, but the docents are probably too nice and too loyal to the institution that screwed them to hire an attorney.

    The Wiki article reports some weasley words:

    “In 2021, the Art Institute ended its volunteer docents program, who were unpaid, to move to a paid model. Following a volunteerism surge in the late 1940’s, the program had been created in 1961 to revitalize and expand “programming for children.”[66] Among other matters, since 2014 the program had been trying to attract a more diverse socioeconomic perspective set of art-tour guides, given the time commitment needed.[67] The Chicago Tribune editorial page criticized the move, arguing that “[o]nce you cut through the blather, the letter basically said the museum had looked critically at its corps of docents, a group dominated by mostly (but not entirely) white, retired women with some time to spare, and found them wanting as a demographic.”[68] The Institute’s director, Robert M. Levy, responded in a Tribune op-ed supporting the change, and described the Tribune’s editorial as having “numerous inaccuracies and mischaracterizations”, noted that the docent program had already been largely on pause for the past 15 months due to the COVID pandemic, and argued that the decision was not about anyone’s identity, it was in keeping with changing modern museum practices around the world.[69]”

    No documentation provided by Wiki for “changing modern museum practices around the world.”

    But the title of the cited op-ed, ” “Op-ed: The Art Institute — and its critics — must embrace change”
    sez it all by reciting the “change” mantra, treated as an axiom. (Actual op-ed is behind a pay wall.)

  191. Skeptikal says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    OMG, what happened to Obama’s finger?

    He is missing a knuckle.

    Is this some kind of “signal”?

    Or just pure incompetence.

    Give me a brush! I think I can fix this!

    Of course the hedge is an excellent metaphor for him.

    The “portrait” of Michelle is abominable, even though it doesn’t look like her.

  192. Art Deco says:

    The NCES data are not granular enough to determine how many art history degrees are handed out to blacks each year. The BLS data do report on the number of blacks employed as archivists, curators, or museum technicians; the number is around 340, or 0.6% of all those employed in such occupations. Veterinary medicine is the only occupation on which the government is collecting race data which has proportionately fewer blacks.

  193. AceDeuce says:

    Meanwhile your niece calls me daddy

    I know she does. My niece is an nursing student in Estonia. “Dah di” is Estonian for “micropenis.”

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