Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art to remove curtains covering transgender art exhibit

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art has reversed its position and will remove curtains on the art exhibition “Relationship.”

The museum’s decision comes just as Zackary Drucker, the  “Relationship” co-creator, visits campus for a lecture. Since the installation of drapes at the exhibit on April 22, conversations about their purpose began fueling debate about the impact “Relationship” — a collection of images featuring transgender individuals — might be having on some museum-goers.

The conflict arose because a children’s group uses an adjacent space attached to the gallery room where “Relationship” is displayed.

Based on concerns of volunteers attached to a children’s art program, museum administration installed the black drapes to close off the exhibition during off-hour use when children are present at the museum.

In a statement released May 2, Jill Hartz, Executive Director of JSMA, made clear that internet conversations along with campus discussion concerning JSMA’s decision to add drapes to the exhibit were not going unnoticed by administrators.

“We are happy that the exhibition has generated dialogue and that a spirited discussion of gender can take place on our campus and online,” Hartz said. “After careful consideration, we have decided to remove the drapes in support of the artists’ statement that the exhibition is ‘tender, playful and complex.’”

During Drucker’s visit to the UO today, she addressed students at Prince Lucien Campbell Hall in a mostly full auditorium at 2 p.m.

“I’m thrilled that there is no obstruction to getting in the gallery,” she said after the lecture. “The photographs are so playful and nurturing and wholesome that I was surprised that anybody would take interest in the content, but it is hard to separate because there has been such a backlash against trans folks all over the country.”

Drucker said she views JSMA’s decision as a positive move and understands the context in which the curtains were installed.

Tonight at 7, Drucker will host a screening of the film “Women in Revolt” at the Wayward Lamb.

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Christopher Trotchie

Christopher Trotchie