Friday, December 1, 1989
Type of event:
Visual AIDS Event
  • Multiple

Day Without Art


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The first Day Without Art began on December 1st, 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

Day Without Art was created as a way to make the public aware that AIDS can touch everyone, and inspire positive action.  Visual AIDS formed a steering committee and contacted museums and art organizations throughout the U.S., inviting them to participate by covering artwork to represent all the work that may never be made or seen, closing museums and sending staff to volunteer at AIDS services, and distributing information to all visitors about HIV/AIDS. The first year over 800 museums and art institutions participated.

Since then, Day With(out) Art has grown into a collaborative project in which an estimated 8,000 national and international museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS Service Organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part.

More history and events on Day Without Art can be view on our Art+Projects page