Rumors of War celebration in Richmond on December 10

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) announced it would “celebrate the permanent installation of Kehinde Wiley’s sculpture Rumors of War” on December 10.

The unveiling outside the VMFA along Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond is slated for 3:30 p.m.

Wiley, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and others are expected to speak at the event which is open to the public.

The sculpture was unveiled at a September ceremony in Times Square.

“Mounted proudly on its large stone pedestal, Rumors of War is the artist’s direct response to the ubiquitous Confederate sculptures that populate the United States, particularly in the American South,” a VMFA spokesperson said. “Standing at just under three stories tall, Wiley’s sculpture depicts a young, African American figure dressed in urban streetwear and sitting astride a massive horse in a striking pose based on the equestrian monument to Confederate States Army general James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.”

Wiley was inspired to create Rumors of War after a 2016 visit to Richmond for the opening of his retrospective
exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, at VMFA.

“The story starts with going to Virginia and seeing the monuments that line the streets,” Wiley stated at the unveiling of the work in Times Square on September 27, 2019. “But it’s also about being in this black body. I’m a black man walking those streets….What does that feel like to walk a public space, and to have your state, your country, your nation, say this is what we stand by? No. We want more. We demand more. We creative people create more…And today we say yes to something that looks like us. We say yes to inclusivity. We say yes to broader notions of what it means to be an American.”

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