Values & Commitments

Our Values 

We acknowledge the sensitive nature of the material currently on display in the Flaten Art Museum’s galleries and study spaces. Our intention is not to perpetuate the narratives contained within the propaganda, but to critically examine the dark motives and dire consequences of artful propaganda — and ensure the lessons of one of the worst atrocities in modern history are not forgotten. Recognizing the persuasiveness of this material in the past, and the circulation of related rhetoric to advance antisemitism, white nationalism, and racialized violence in the present, Flaten Art Museum denounces the appropriation of these messages and images for ill intent. We are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for community members to bear witness to this traumatic material and process its historic and contemporary implications.

Our Commitments

  • Working with a Curatorial Advisory Team of faculty, staff, and students to design the exhibition’s multidisciplinary teaching resources and programming  
  • Inviting members of the Jewish Student Organization to the Curatorial Advisory Team to help shape the exhibition and programs with sensitivity to the Jewish student experience 
  • Consulting with the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life to to help inform the exhibition and programs with sensitivity to the Jewish experience on campus
  • Equipping faculty with a Teaching Guide and offering ongoing support throughout the teaching process
  • Creating extra thresholds, both physical and digital, that separate visitors from the posters and broadsides, allowing visitors to “opt in” when they are ready
  • Prohibiting photography to avoid the circulation of sensitive material, and requiring visitors to leave their phones with the museum attendant on duty before entering the Object Study Room (CAD 205)
  • Partnering with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas to address antisemitism in historic and contemporary contexts 
  • Presenting in fall 2021 Transfer of Memory exhibition, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, which highlights the resilience of Minnesota Holocaust survivors through portraits and stories 
  • Partnering with the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community to present spring 2022 programs that critically examine strains of antisemitism within Martin Luther’s writings and theology, shedding light on the significance of this collection in the particular context of St. Olaf’s Lutheran roots
  • Acknowledging the histories of mass genocide and racialized violence sanctioned by the United States government during class visits and tours
  • Informing the Northfield Police Department of the exhibition and its goals, and inquiring about the presence and activity of neo-Nazi and/or white nationalist movements in the Northfield area so that we can work to ensure that these images and messages are not appropriated for ill intent