The Art Institute of Chicago fired all of its roughly 100 volunteer museum guides, or docents, in September because too many of them were wealthy, white women. The news of the mass firing has only trickled out slowly, partly because the institute asked docents not to speak to the media, and because the left-leaning Chicago media showed little interest in covering the issue. Art Institute of Chicago (Tom Ipri / Flickr / CC / Cropped) The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday: In museum-speak, a docent is a trained volunteer who greets visitors and guides them through the collection, filling in details of the artists' lives, speaking to the visual elements of the work on display and adding art-history context. The Art Institute used to have more than 100 docents, 82 of them active, until Veronica Stein, an executive director of learning and engagement, sent a Sept. 3 email canning all of them. In gratitude for their long, unpaid service—averaging 15 years each—the Art Institute offered the involuntarily retired guides a two-year free pass to the museum. The apparent problem was that the Art Institute docents were mostly older white women of above-average financial means and with plenty of time on… Read full this story
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