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White Walls in Museums

jarchitect

In a lecture, professors at my design school argued that keeping white walls in a gallery/museum space promotes white supremacy. While European architects in the 20th century may have been trying to enforce this sentiment, do you think this still stands true today (or ever)? Some of my classmates agree that this is too far of a stretch, as the school's own museum and other progressive art institutions have white interior walls themselves. Therefore, do you think the lecturers are teaching material that doesn't actually apply to the professional world in architecture, art, and design just to seem morally competent?

 
Jul 26, 21 3:28 am
Non Sequitur

Cookoo cookoo. Hopefully you didn’t pay too much for that bullshit course.

Jul 26, 21 6:15 am  · 
7  · 
z1111

They are missing the big picture. What is the provinance of the work on display? How was it acquired? Who actually does it belong to? Is it a true representative sample? 

Jul 26, 21 8:35 am  · 
5  · 
natematt

This.

It's a lot easier to criticize the color of a wall than to turn down museum work because of the ethical failings of the client. A whole lot less meaningful too... 

Jul 26, 21 12:06 pm  · 
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what color are the professors?

Jul 26, 21 8:51 am  · 
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jarchitect

Ironically most of them were white. However, the entire theory and history department seemed to agree with this logic when I contacted professors to discuss further.

Jul 27, 21 12:59 am  · 
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Wood Guy

I have read articles in the past that drew a connection between the rise in white-painted buildings and white things in general equaling "clean," coinciding with other subtle (and not-so-subtle) anti-black, pro-caucasian actions in the 19th and 20th centuries. I was recently looking for those articles but can't find any online.

While I'm sure nobody is painting anything white, including museum interiors, to be racist, there is a connection between "white=good" and "black=dirty/bad" that is pervasive. It doesn't stop me from using white, but as a white American male, it's always worthwhile to inspect our behaviors to see where it may put others at a disadvantage. Call it "woke" in a pejorative way if you want, but to me it's just being aware of others and their plights. 

Jul 26, 21 9:08 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

But WG.... my office printer has 4 paper drawers and all contain white paper! Certainly this is a ploy by Canon to push a white supramicistical agenda on all us simpletons.

Jul 26, 21 9:23 am  · 
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Wood Guy

All I'm saying is that I think it's worth examining things we take for granted, that may hurt others. Joke about it if you want.

Jul 26, 21 9:29 am  · 
6  · 
Non Sequitur

^correct WG, hyperbole and slippery slopes work both ways without context, which is missing the op's comment.

Jul 26, 21 10:09 am  · 
2  · 
jarchitect

The lecturers did argue that painting museum interiors white enforced the notion that white=default. However, they never refuted this concept for today's world, which many students found hypocritical considering the school's own museum contains white interior walls.

Jul 27, 21 12:54 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

Increasingly, architects are finding that gray is a better color to paint walls, the top image is of Gehry's addition to the Weisman.


Jul 26, 21 9:41 am  · 
3  · 

Grey (seniors) supremacy. I'm good with that.

Jul 26, 21 9:57 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

I choose to paint a wall in my dinning room dark grey just to display a few of my paintings. Def works better than white. Not sure why tho, but it does.

Jul 26, 21 10:06 am  · 
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lower.case.yao

Grey definitely works better because there's usually less of a contrast between the art and the wall. This also works with undershirts, where grey is less conspicuous than white.

Jul 26, 21 10:17 am  · 
1  · 

The white box is one of the principal failures of small-'m' modernism.

Jul 26, 21 1:50 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Smells like a troll.

Jul 26, 21 2:36 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

those bloody white suprematist walls and their cubist spaces, I bet they’re straight walls too!

Jul 26, 21 3:40 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

All the denizens of my home are colored, but all the walls are white. Need to color all of them STAT!

Jul 26, 21 4:33 pm  · 
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x-jla

white walls are so that white art theives can camouflage.  Sneaky white people.  

Jul 26, 21 4:58 pm  · 
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ham17

As someone who spent most of her life working in galleries, my mom always told me that besides white primer being the least intrusive color to use as a backdrop for art, it's also usually the cheapest option. 

Throughout school, I've actually found that the students with the "cleanest" work and backdrop usually use a rich black. Obviously, virtual walls and physical walls will appear much differently, that's just my two cents. 

Jul 26, 21 10:59 pm  · 
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jarchitect

The professors also claimed that the popular use of white canvases in art or in teaching painting promotes white supremacy because it establishes white as standard or default. Thoughts?

Jul 27, 21 1:12 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Idiots. White is easier to cover and likely cheaper.

Jul 27, 21 6:02 am  · 
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I'm guessing you're not at RISD.

Jul 27, 21 8:43 am  · 
1  ·  1

Jar - your prof is a moron.

Jul 27, 21 10:49 am  · 
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You ever go look at the data sheets for paint on your projects? All the paint manufacturers are promoting white supremacy by only having information for white bases that colorant then gets added to.

Jul 27, 21 11:48 am  · 
2  · 

Just look at the white paper those data sheets are printed on!

Jul 27, 21 11:53 am  · 
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I print my own data sheets and don't tell me what color to print them on.

Jul 27, 21 12:01 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

oh no, archinect's site is mostly white. The horror... they must be complacent in this secretive cabal. That's it, I'm changing my field colour in the specs to hot pink instead of white.

Jul 27, 21 12:04 pm  · 
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tduds

Print your final boards on orange stock and they can see how well the colors render.

Jul 27, 21 2:59 pm  · 
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JLC-1

what about the background of this website?

Jul 27, 21 5:43 pm  · 
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Volunteer

Since most museum exhibition spaces are windowless maybe white is chosen to 'enlighten' (sorry) the space and remove the 'in-a-bunker' feeling. Just a thought. 

Jul 27, 21 7:02 am  · 
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To be fully woke one must set their all electronic devices to night mode.

Jul 27, 21 8:43 am  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Still smells like a troll. 

Jul 27, 21 12:18 pm  · 
2  · 
x-jla

White light is racist.  All art must be black light art from here on!   

Jul 27, 21 2:12 pm  · 
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x-jla


woke af

Jul 27, 21 2:13 pm  · 
2  · 
z1111

There are a significant number of people who view the world through the prisim of literal thinking. These are not woke people. They would think that this thread  is filled with insults by liberal elites. This is imo a one joke thread.



Jul 27, 21 3:35 pm  · 
1  · 

One might argue that the association between whiteness and purity, blankness, etc. was an idea that had to be invented, and of course, we know the kind of 19th Century elitists it would have been invented by. Why not black, or gray, or natural material?

I think it's a bigger issue that a place like the MOMA in NYC still has a gallery named after Philip Johnson, who went really far out of his way to help the Nazis.

Aug 10, 21 12:06 pm  · 
1  · 

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