Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

David Howson

Second Advisor

Sandra Welter


An art museum’s purpose is to collect, preserve, research, and display art. This is also true for works that may be potentially controversial. The introduction of this thesis presents the style and background of artist Kara Walker whose art has, in the past, been considered controversial. To create exhibits, a museum must consider administrative elements such as mission statement, staff, funding, research, design, marketing, and educational programming. These elements are outlined in the Roles in Arts Administration section. Questions were posed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and The Walker Art Center regarding their administrative processes for creating exhibits of Kara Walker’s art. Observations of these case studies were then useful in determining practices that other museums can employ in exhibiting Walker’s work or similar potentially controversial art.