Obama portrait artist creates stained-glass artwork on display in Ely
- Credit: Stained Glass Museum
The American artist once commissioned to create a portrait of former US president Barack Obama, is behind a major coup by Ely Stained Glass Museum.
The museum has acquired the first stained glass artwork by Kehinde Wiley and it is now on display.
Wiley is an established and celebrated visual artist, best known for his portraits that place black men and women in traditional settings of original historical, religious or mythological portraits.
Saint Adelaide (2014) is his first stained glass artwork to enter a public art collection anywhere in the world.
Ely is introducing his work through #MuseumLates throughout August and September.
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Visitors will be able to enjoy an ‘after hours’ opportunity to explore the museum and see this new panel.
Tickets are free but must be prebooked.
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Saint Adelaide is a striking larger-than-life stained-glass portrait of a young black man.
The artwork is a major addition to the museum’s collection of contemporary stained glass.
It has been bought for the museum’s permanent collection with the help of a variety of grant funding bodies.
The museum says Saint Adelaide is one of a series of Wiley’s freestanding-stained glass panels depicting contemporary portraits of young black residents of Brooklyn, NY.
It is one of the first stained glass works to be made to Wiley’s designs by stained glass artisans in the Czech Republic.
“These contemporary stained-glass panels mimic the form, pose, positioning and framing of carefully-selected historic stained-glass windows,” says a museum spokesperson.
“They place contemporary portraits of black men in the place of traditional saints.
Jasmine Allen, director and curator of the museum, will be on hand to answer any questions.
She said: “Ahead of Wiley’s first exhibition in the UK at the National Gallery this winter, this is a brilliant opportunity to see his work locally in Ely.
“In a simple but powerful way Wiley’s art addresses the representation of young black men in contemporary culture and challenges the conventions of western art.
#MuseumLates take place on Tuesday 17th August, Wednesday 8th and 15th September. Entry is free but for pre-booked tickets only.
Tickets are bookable for timed entry slots at regular intervals between 4-5pm and 6:30-7:30pm.