The statue by artist Kehinde Wiley was unveiled yesterday in its permanent home at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Kehinde Wiley unveiled his “Rumors of War” statue on the lawn of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Tuesday afternoon. The statue, which depicts a young black man in streetwear riding a horse, was first unveiled in New York City’s Times Square in September.
Wiley was inspired to create the statue after visiting Richmond years ago and seeing the Confederate monuments around the city. It is modeled after the J.E.B. Stuart monument that stands at the intersection of Monument Ave. and Lombardy St. in Richmond. It is 27 feet tall — one foot taller than the Stuart statue. “Rumors of War” will now be a permanent fixture on the lawn of the VMFA, just blocks from the Confederate statues that dominate Monument Avenue.
A massive crowd was on hand to view the unveiling. Governor Ralph Northam, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, and Wiley all spoke prior to the statue being revealed. At the moment of its removal, a tarp concealing the 29-foot statue became stuck on the figure’s hair, but a Richmond firefighter was able to remove the tarp, revealing the full statue.
RVA Magazine was on hand to view the event — here are some images of what took place:
Top Photo by Jimmy O’Keefe. Additional reporting by Marilyn Drew Necci.