Brooklyn Museum’s Year of Yes

Written for The Park Slope Reader

For the ten-year anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum curator Catherine Morris planned a series of exhibitions titled A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism, which would begin in October 2016 and end in early 2018. The various exhibits would examine artwork, social movements, and historical periods with a keen feminist eye. When reflecting on the past decade and the ways in which society and media had gradually come to accept feminist methodology more and more, Morris was struck by a thought: how long does a place like the Sackler center need to exist? Is there a day when we will no longer need a center devoted to preserving and educating the public on feminist art?

She did not have to wait long for an answer. In early November, Marilyn Minter’s: Pretty/Dirty exhibit was underway, and Morris and her fellow coordinators looked on with pride. They expected Marilyn Minter’s examination of female body image in America to coincide with a Hillary Clinton presidency; a retrospective on the commercialization and objectification of the female form timely paired with a much-anticipated first female presidency. The coincidental juxtaposition of the two would have in and of itself been a lesson, a lesson that boldly said, “Look how far we’ve come!” Instead, when Election Day arrived the lesson became, “There is still so much left to do.”

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