Works by Edouard Manet and Paul Gauguin are said to depict racism and sexism. Manet’s 1882 A Bar at the Folies-Bergère shows a Paris barmaid. After a £57million facelift of the London gallery, a panel calls her expression “unsettling, especially as she appears to be interacting with a male customer” in the mirror.
Manet based her on a worker at the club where prostitutes drank. It has been said one theme was her “availability”.
But historian Ruth Millington said the Manet label’s “woke attempt to call out misogyny” frames the woman as “a passive victim”. She wants visitors to instead be asked to imagine what she is thinking.
A panel says of Gauguin’s Nevermore, “the widespread racist fantasy of Tahitian girls as sexually precocious led to their unabashed exploitation”.
The gallery said revised labels “reflect and acknowledge the latest scholarship”.