The Inaugural Museum of Capitalism Opens This Summer In Oakland

by Sid Feddema

Oakland is a city known for its long history and tradition of protest, which makes it the perfect place to light the fire under the Museum of Capitalism. Debuting at the beautiful waterfront of Jack London Square, the museum will stand as a place for contemporary art discourse in order to spark a much needed conversation. Attendees will reflect on the General Strike at The Port of Oakland, the fifth busiest port in the United States, that the Occupy movement shut down after several thousand protesters blocked entrances just six years ago. From June 17th to August 20th the spirit of those societal concerns will  be addressed as free admission is offered at this strategic location, accessible by car, bus, bike, train, and ferry in order to reach a broad public.

Made possible by the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award from Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, this is the first time in the award’s twenty-year history that this prestigious nationwide grant was completely awarded to a single exhibition within an institution. The foundation seeks to promote innovative solutions to basic and enduring problems in the United States through its grant programs for contemporary arts, environment and learning disabilities.

As the museum’s mission is to educate this generation and future generations about the ideology, history, and legacy of capitalism, much like the Occupy movement, it is meant to challenge stagnation in the reduction of poverty, mass incarceration and police violence, and wealth inequality. Over fifty artists from all over the nation have prepared art meant to  explore the historical phenomenon of capitalism and its intersections with themes of race, class, and environment in the United States. Foundation President, Michelle Knapik says, “This temporary museum – housed outside of traditional museum walls - stands to be a cultural lever for community conversation long after its run.”


Written by Parker Wiggins