This weekend, if you happen to walk by the Downtown Gallery at night, you may notice the rainbow light display emanating from just below our window. We’re doing this to celebrate Friday’s historic Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, and we’re not alone in this. Landmarks across the country, including the White House, Niagara Falls, and 1 World Trade Center, are all decked out for #lovewins (read more about it here). You may be asking, why are we doing it and what does it have to do with an art museum?
Rainbows have long been visual symbols for gay pride and, as an art museum, we are keenly aware of art’s powerful impact on visual culture. Through the metaphor of the spectrum, the visual symbol of the rainbow communicates inclusivity and diversity, which are major tenets of our mission as well as Bucknell’s. Furthermore, as a museum, we are often tasked with telling the multiplicity of narratives found in art history, but we must also recognize the corollary to this mission – that we are witness to history as it unfolds.
Surely, the United States took a turning point in its history this past Friday and we at the Samek want to recognize this incredible moment in the way we know best – through light and color.