When it comes to the word “diversity,” what are we really referring to?

How Happy I Am to Have Seen This Little Corner of America in a Museum

Before I write about “what” I saw, I want to explain the “why,” having already stated exactly “where” this revelatory experience happened.

The five works were not part of a group show. They were in close proximity but not isolated from the other works. Rather, my reaction sprung from turning the corner and catching sight of these works simultaneously.

It was an encounter that led me to think once again about the meaning of “diversity,” and how the principle has been framed.

When it comes to the word “diversity,” what are we really referring to? Is it the individual’s sexual orientation, race, ability, age, financial resources, geographic location, or some combination?

The four paintings and one sculpture I encountered at Crystal Bridges are figurative. They share a preoccupation with the relationship of race, ethnicity, society, and history.

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Indian Slavery

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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