Museum Says Gallery Overhaul Isn’t Woke, but Signage Declares Differently

Tom PJ /
Tom PJ /

If you are an art connoisseur, you’ve likely heard of the Fitzwilliam Museum, an antiquity-specializing institution owned by England’s Cambridge University. Recently, it’s undergone a bit of an overhaul or revamping.

Unfortunately, I don’t just mean some new paint or even new pieces.

Instead, it seems the whole place has suffered a particularly woke headache.

For starters, most of the paintings or art collections have been reorganized into categories aimed to be more “diverse,” “inclusive,” and “representative.” New categories include “Migration and Movement,” “Identity,” “Nature,” and “Men Looking at Women.”

Additionally, each category has now been given new signage, one that warns of possible racism, colonialism, etc.

The “Nature” collection, for example, now boasts a sign that reads, “Landscape paintings were also always entangled with national identity. The countryside was seen as a direct link to the past, and therefore, a true reflection of the essence of a nation… The darker side of evoking this nationalist feeling is the implication that only those with a historical tie to the land have a right to belong.”

In essence, landscapes are racist…


Similar signage is seen in the “Identity” collection, where the “social order of a white ruling class, leaving little room for representations of people of colour, the working class or other marginalized people.”

It was reported that these more woke changes to the Fitzwilliam occurred after the Wildlife and Countryside Link, a known left-wing activist group, wrote to Parliament complaining that paintings of the English countryside showed little but a “racist colonial white space.”

Of course, the museum’s director, Luke Syson, says the changes were not made to be woke. Instead, it’s just meant to be more “inclusive and representative.” Although we all know that pretty much translates to woke.

Needless to say, the overhaul is not going over nearly as well as the museum had planned.