As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments next month over President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration, New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has taken a strong stance against it.
The museum teamed up with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) to recruit more than 100 art institutions to voice their opposition to the order in an attempt to bolster the lawsuits challenging the so-called Muslim ban.
The Guggenheim commissioned amicus briefs in two appeals cases underway in Hawaii and Maryland that seek to overturn the ban. The documents detail the ban’s negative impact on arts institutions across the country. (An amicus brief is a statement filed in an appeal by a person or organization who is not a party to the case but is invested in the outcome.)
The documents were prepared pro bono by the law firm David Polk and signed by the AAMD, the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, the College Art Association, and more than a hundred art museums across the country, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The AAMD led the effort to mobilize museums to sign.
“Museums plan exhibitions and performances months, and often years, in advance,” the brief explains. “The uncertainty of whether artists or other necessary personnel will receive discretionary waivers, based on ambiguous and undefined criteria, will effectively prevent the amici museums from planning many exhibitions and performances that are dependent on persons covered by the Order.”