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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