Three Peoples (Mural)

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Artist: Kenneth Adams

Year: 2018

Date of Action: August 2021

Region: North America

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium:

Confronting Bodies: University of New Mexico

Description of Artwork: This series of murals, painted in 1939 by artist Kenneth Adams, on the UNM campus has been criticized as "inherently racist" and a demonstration of white supremacism for its representation of New Mexico's Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo socio-cultural history. That the Anglo person is the only figure depicted with an explicit face, in contrast to the remainder of the figures who are faceless, sparked controversy.

The Incident: In 2018, the University of New Mexico founded an interdisciplinary class to delve into this topic, and this class has largely framed the debate over calls for the murals' removal. Although not all students were unaminous in wanting to have the mural removed, some students started a petition to call for its removal which has gained over 1,000 supporters as of January 2021. UNM has stated that a decision over the mural's potential removal would be ultimately made by the Board of Regents.

Results of Incident: In September 2020, UNM submitted an appliaction for the removal of the murals to the state of New Mixoc, as the murals are under the purview of the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/online-petition-calls-for-the-removal-of-mural-on-unm-campus/, http://news.unm.edu/news/unm-zimmerman-mural-update


The petition by UNM students calling for the murals' removal:https://www.change.org/p/university-of-new-mexico-remove-and-replace-adams-three-peoples-paintings-from-zimmerman-library-at-the-unm?recruiter=1117051571&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=G%3ESearch%3ESAP%3EUS%3ENonBrand%3EBMM&recruited_by_id=14ba1300-af1e-11ea-a6a4-69f61b71cc59

Information about the class which was created to contextualize and explore the murals: https://www.kunm.org/post/class-explores-controversy-around-library-murals