Artist Amy Sherald’s iconic portrait of Breonna Taylor went on display Friday (Sept. 10) at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of a celebration to mark the museum’s fifth anniversary.
The exhibit, “Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience,” opened in the museum’s Visual Art and the American Experience space. It explores the Black Lives Matter movement, police and vigilante violence against African Americans and how art depicts Black resistance, resilience and protest.
Taylor is the 26-year-lold emergency medical tech worker who was shot to death on March 13, 2020 by Louisville police officers in a botched drug raid.
“I think it is a really important moment. Our fifth anniversary is a chance to look back, look ahead and look around, a chance to honor the moment we are in,” the museum director Kevin Young said, according to The Washington Post.
Sherald’s portrait first appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair’s September 2020 issue.
According to the Post, the African American Museum and the Speed Museum in Louisville jointly own the painting.
In 2017, Sherald, a Clark-Atlanta University alumna, skyrocketed to fame when the National Portrait Gallery commissioned her to paint former First Lady Michelle Obama's official portrait.
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In its first five years, more than 7.5 million people visited and more than 15.4 million have made virtual visits.
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images