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Artist donating proceeds from Breonna Taylor portrait for U of L scholarships

Painting of Breonna Taylor, wearing a flowing aquamarine dress and a cross necklace.
Joseph Hyde/© Amy Sherald. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Artist Amy Sherald is donating proceeds from her 2020 portrait of Breonna Taylor to help fund scholarships at the University of Louisville.

A New York-based artist who created an iconic portrait of Breonna Taylor is giving proceeds from its sale back to the Louisville community.

Amy Sherald will present the gift Sunday at a ceremony at the University of Louisville. It will help fund undergraduate scholarships and a law school fellowship in Taylor’s memory. 

The portrait was featured on the September 2020 cover of Vanity Fair, six months after officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department shot and killed Taylor at her home. 

Its first public showing was at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville last year, as the centerpiece in the Promise, Witness Remembrance exhibit in Taylor’s honor.

The Speed Art Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. have since jointly acquired the painting, through a $1 million donation by the Ford Foundation and the Heartland Foundation.

Sherald is presenting the gift  after the Breonna Taylor Lecture on Structural Inequality, where she’ll also be presented with the Darryl T. Owens Community Service Award. The lecture can be streamed live at 3 p.m. 

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.