Breonna Taylor portrait takes center stage in new Smithsonian exhibit

Breonna Taylor portrait takes center stage in new Smithsonian exhibit
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A portrait of Breonna Taylor, whose death helped spark the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, will be on display in a Smithsonian starting this Friday.

A painting of Taylor will hang on the fourth floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) as part of the museum’s new exhibition, "Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience." 

Taylor's portrait was created by Amy Sherald, the same artist who painted the portrait of Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaWe must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary MORE that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

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The painting shows Taylor wearing a turquoise dress instead of the uniform she's usually pictured in. She's also depicted wearing the engagement ring her boyfriend Kenneth Walker had planned to give her before her death, notes The Washington Post.

The image was previously shown to the public when it was used as the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in September 2020, notes the NMAAHC.

The museum said it purchased the artwork from Sherald, who planned to donate the proceeds of the sale to social justice causes.

The portrait's debut coincides with the museum's anniversary, which museum director Kevin Young told the Post was a "really important moment."

He added, "Our fifth anniversary is a chance to look back, look ahead and look around, a chance to honor the moment we are in."