“DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, all Smithsonian museums are closed.” The message is featured in a banner across the top of all of the institution’s websites. A similar message is posted on the doors of the museums. The Smithsonian is “the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.” As a result of the closure, visitors are barred from several exhibitions featuring African American artists, including @gordonparksfoundation (1912-2006), @dawoudbey, and Mark Bradford.
The federal government shut down on Friday, Dec. 21, at midnight, after the U.S. Congress failed to pass a spending bill as negotiations with the President broke down over funding for a border wall with Mexico. After a month, the situation remains at an impasse. About 800,000 federal government employees are impacted by the shutdown.