From Dana Schutz’s notorious painting to divisive animal art at the Guggenheim, 2017 was chock full of debate, discussion, and protest.
This year saw unprecedented tumult in the real world—and in the art world, too. There were fiery debates over cultural appropriation and the definition of censorship; a legal tussle over deaccessioning at the Berkshire Museum; and front-page exposés on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the cultural philanthropy of the Sackler family, and the buyer of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi.
Below, we recount the biggest headlines and controversies of the year in chronological order. Just don’t expect the debates they ignited to end in 2017.