Warren Kanders has resigned as vice chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s board of trustees, first reported the New York Times on Thursday.
The embattled trustee, who collects blue-chip art with his wife Allison, was under fire for months from art critics, artists and others. Both Kanders' home and the Whitney were sites of continuing protests. Public outcry centered on Kanders' involvement in weapons manufacturing, with his Safariland company making law enforcement and military products said to be used against migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and Gaza civilians, perhaps lethally at times, as noted first by Hyperallergic last November.
Last week, four artists showing in the 2019 Whitney Biennial requested to withdraw their work in protest of Kanders--including Korakrit Arunanondchai, Meriem Bennani, Nicole Eisenman, and Nicholas Galanin--and four more later joined them. After Kanders resigned, the artists reportedly reversed their decision to be removed from the exhibition.
Kanders served on the Whitney board since 2006, donated several artworks and gave more than $10 million to the museum, but whether the Whitney directly pressured him to resign is unclear, according to the NYT.