A publicity stunt meant to draw in crowds to a Claude Monet exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has backfired amidst charges of cultural appropriation, reports Big, Red & Shiny.
The MFA offered visitors an opportunity to wear a replica of a kimono worn by Monet’s wife in a portrait on display at the gallery each Wednesday night. Instead protestors began showing up accusing the museum of “vile racism.”
The MFA at first defended its action, but has since backed down.
“We heard concerns from some members of our community, and as a result we’ve decided to change our programming,” a museum statement read. “The kimonos will now be on display in the Impressionist gallery every Wednesday evening in July for visitors to touch and engage with, but not to try on. This allows the MFA to continue to achieve the program’s goal of offering an interactive experience with the kimonos—understanding their weight and size, and appreciating the embroidery, material, and narrative composition.”
You can find out more about the original intention of Kimono Wednesdays and the backlash to it in Big, Red & Shiny.