Difference between revisions of "University of Kentucky Memorial Hall mural"

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|source=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/12/01/u-of-kentucky-shrouds-a-1934-mural-that-depicts-african-american-slaves/, http://uknow.uky.edu/content/memorial-hall-mural-chance-heal-wounds-gain-broader-perspective, http://ncac.org/blog/shrouding-history-or-protecting-students-university-of-kentucky-covers-1930s-mural/,
 
|source=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/12/01/u-of-kentucky-shrouds-a-1934-mural-that-depicts-african-american-slaves/, http://uknow.uky.edu/content/memorial-hall-mural-chance-heal-wounds-gain-broader-perspective, http://ncac.org/blog/shrouding-history-or-protecting-students-university-of-kentucky-covers-1930s-mural/,
 
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{{DISPLAYTITLE:<span style="font-style: italic;">University of Kentucky Memorial Hall mural</span>}}

Revision as of 15:55, 10 December 2015



Artist: Ann Rice O’Hanlon

Year: 2015

Date of Action: November 25, 2015

Region: North America

Location: Lexington, Kentucky, United States of America

Subject: Racial/Ethnic

Medium: Painting, Public Art

Confronting Bodies: University of Kentucky

Description of Artwork: Ann Rice O'Hanlon depicted American Southern life in a 38 feet wide by 11 feet tall fresco for the University of Kentucky's Memorial Hall. The artist was an alumna of the University of Kentucky who painted the work in 1934 as part of the Public Works of Art project. She used bright colors, solid figures, and a large landscape view to capture a variety of visual vignettes. The mural portrays the construction of log cabins, fishing off a bridge, passengers riding in a train, and horse training. It also depicts four African-Americans in a line bending over to pick tobacco, white individuals dancing to music played by black musicians, and a Native American peering from the woods at a white woman gathering water from a stream.

The Incident: In early November 2015, around two dozen black students expressed offense to University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto at the depiction of slavery in the mural. On November 23, 2015, Capiluoto released a statement saying,

"One African American student recently told me that each time he walks into class at Memorial Hall he looks at the black men and women toiling in tobacco fields and receives the terrible reminder that his ancestors were enslaved, subjugated by his fellow humans. Worse still, the mural provides a sanitized image of that history."

On November 25, 2015, the entire fresco was covered in white sheets. Capiluoto referred to the shrouding as an interim action, as a "long-term answer will take some time."

Results of Incident: The novelist Wendell Berry, related to the artist by marriage and a University of Kentucky alumni, published a critique of the shrouding in the Lexington Herald-Leader, aruging, “Ann painted the Memorial Hall fresco in 1934, when it took some courage to declare so boldly that slaves had worked in Kentucky fields...Nobody would have objected if she had left them out. The uniform clothing and posture of the workers denotes an oppressive regimentation. The railroad, its cars filled with white passengers, seems to be borne upon the slaves’ bent backs.”

As of December 10, 2015, the mural remains shrouded.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/12/01/u-of-kentucky-shrouds-a-1934-mural-that-depicts-african-american-slaves/, http://uknow.uky.edu/content/memorial-hall-mural-chance-heal-wounds-gain-broader-perspective, http://ncac.org/blog/shrouding-history-or-protecting-students-university-of-kentucky-covers-1930s-mural/