Artist Amy Sherald’s Breonna Taylor painting now hangs in the National Museum of African American History in Washington


Larger-than-life painting by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald of killed emergency medic breonna taylor now has a new home. After a joint acquisition in March by the Speed ​​Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, visitors to the museum will now be able to see the portrait of the 26-year-old on display. in the national capital.

On Friday, September 10, “Breonna Taylor,” a 54 x 43 inch oil on linen painting in which the Kentucky native is depicted in a flowing turquoise gown with an engagement ring worn on her left hand, was put on. in place. exhibit in Washington’s newest museum exposure, “Count: Protest. Challenge. Resilience. “

The exhibition will open in the museum’s American visual art and experience space, which explores the Black Lives Matter movement, violence against African Americans, and how art portrays resistance, resilience. and the protest of blacks.

Taylor was killed on March 13, 2020, after Louisville metro police stormed her apartment to execute a search warrant without knocking. The warrant was linked to a narcotics case involving Taylor’s ex-boyfriend JaMarcus Glover, who was already in police custody.

Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker shortly after midnight when the police started breaking down the apartment door. Thinking they were facing criminal intruders, Walker and Taylor were in the hallway of the apartment facing the door when Walker fired a warning shot as the police entered. The three policemen opened fire, hitting Taylor five times and killing her. Walker was left unharmed.

The work was originally commissioned from Sherald by Vanity Fair for its September 2020 cover. The issue was an activist-focused special edition edited by Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Water Dancer,” stamped Oprah Winfrey.

“I am honored and proud of the work the museum has done over the past five years to share African American history and culture with the world,” said Kevin Young, Director Andrew W. Mellon of the History Museum Afro-American. a declaration.

Sherald, from Columbus, Ga., 48, appeared to be okay with the joint acquisition of her jaw-dropping artwork, expressing her desire to have the painting seen for all to see. “I had the impression that this should live in the world”, she Recount The New York Times in March. “I started to think about his hometown and how this painting could be a balm of Gilead for Louisville.”

The portrait of Breonna Taylor was the second commission for the graduate from Clark University in Atlanta. Sherald had already achieved international recognition for his official portrayal of former first lady Michelle Obama.

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