The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York

The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York - Read Photos

23 May 2020

Many anticipated some fallout for the Whitney Museum of American Art when a veteran board member, Warren B. Kanders, felt compelled to resign last year after protesters targeted him in regular demonstrations at the museum. But few probably expected the turn the case has taken: A lawyer, once the Justice Department’s chief Nazi-hunter, has filed a complaint seeking to remove the museum’s tax-exempt status. In his filing to the Internal Revenue Service earlier this month, the former federal official, Neal Sher, now in private practice, argues that the museum mishandled the protests that ended with the resignation of Kanders, the board vice chairman, and that museum officials pressured him to leave. In his letter to the agency, Sher accused museum officials of engaging in a “smear campaign” against Kanders. The demonstrators, led by the activist group Decolonize This Place, had argued that Kanders was not fit to serve as a trustee because his company,