WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery acknowledges that people of color have long been missing in the works it exhibits.
Now the museum is tackling the issue in an unusual way.
The Portrait Gallery is currently showing about 20 works by Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day that examine lynchings, mostly in the American West, and probe the history of racial violence in the United States.
Gonzales-Day says the exhibit asks viewers to empathize with those of a different cultural background and language.
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The exhibit, “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light,” also includes 17 paintings and one sculpture by artist Titus Kaphar, who recreates well-known paintings to include those traditionally left out by smearing tar, erasing with white paint and shredding canvas into strips.
The display runs through January.