Dartmouth College Will Remove Sexist, Racist Murals from Campus Building


Murals painted on a Dartmouth campus building in the 1930s depicting racist and sexist imagery will be removed and placed in off-site storage. The images were meant to portray the founding of Dartmouth College; they include four paintings that depict Dartmouth founder Eleazer Wheelock drinking with male Native Americans, as well as naked Native American women—one of whom is seen reading a book upside down. College President Phil Hanlon said, “The images portrayed in the Hovey Murals convey disturbing messages that are incompatible with Dartmouth’s mission and values. Moving them to off-campus storage is the right thing to do.” For the past seven years, viewing of the murals has been restricted to faculty and museum staff for teaching purposes.  

For Further Reading

See New York Governor Cuomo’s response to a similar controversy surrounding a monument to Christopher Columbus near Central Park.

Discussion Question

Can you think of any famous artwork or monuments that convey problematic messages? Do you think they should be removed or preserved?

Action Item:

The University of Buffalo is conducting a public art project that celebrates diversity on campus. Look for opportunities in your school, workplace, or community to participate in a similar activity.

Read more on The Union Leader/ Image: Eli Burakian