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The New Museum


Earlier this week, the Miller clan visited the National Museum of the American Indian–the big new building on the National Mall, right next to the National Air and Space Museum. It opened in September. First impressions: It’s an attractive building, especially from the outside; the first two floors are dominated by a café and two gift shops, rather than actual exhibits; there’s no casino. The political correctness is suffocating: In the first exhibit we entered, the first picture I looked at was of Kofi Annan. I’m not kidding. The caption read: “The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan poses with delegates to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues after the opening of the second session in New York.” Yes, it’s that kind of museum. That’s not to say nobody should visit. One of my kids was fascinated by a bombardier ice-fishing truck–we proceeded to learn a lot about ice fishing. There was also some attractive artwork by George Morrison and Allan Houser, who are of Indian heritage. But I also wondered why their stuff couldn’t simply go on display in the National Gallery of Art. With these institutions devoted to racial groups, I suppose we should expect ghettoization.


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