Museums Gather Protest Signs, Art + Ephemera to Preserve as Historical Artifacts

In an attempt to record the unified movement and emotional temperature of the present day, nine curators from three Smithsonian museums—including the National Museum of African American History and Culture—conversed with protestors and collected their discarded signs beside the art-covered temporary security fence near Lafayette Square. This aligns with a recent initiative from museums, referred to as “rapid response collecting,” aimed at gathering ephemera in real time. Although the fate of these works is unknown, it’s undeniable that we stand at an important precipice that must be documented and preserved. Read more about what the curators sought out and how they plan to proceed with some of their acquisitions at The New York Times.