Two days ago, in a big win for cultural institutions everywhere, it was announced that David H. Koch has resigned in his role on the board of the American Museum of Natural History.
You may be familiar with Koch, the ‘the fourth richest person in America’ the billionaire who has given millions in ‘philanthropy’ to the American Natural History Museum.
In 2014 scientists and environmental agencies signed an open letter urging natural history museums such as the Smithsonian to sever ties with David Koch and other industrialists who have supported right-wing campaigns to deny climate change.
This letter was the brainchild of artist collective Not an Alternative, which has sought to highlight the increasing influence of corporate money not just in politics but also in cultural institutions.
Center Co-Director Steve Lambert raised this issue in 2014 when he vowed to give any ArtPrize winnings to LGBT-rights organisations should he win to highlight the anti-gay connections of ArtPrize founder Rick Devos. Read about Steve’s battle with the Devos here.