A Walk in the Valley
Artist: Ruth Stanford
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Kennesaw State University
Description of Artwork: The piece contains text from a 19th-century letter by Corra Harris, a Georgia novelist, who justified the lynching of a black man near Newnan.
The Incident: Ruth Stanford’s installation "A Walk in the Valley” was removed a week before the opening of the Zuckerman Museum of Art after KSU officials became concerned that the work would offend viewers and inflame issues of race. The University said “A Walk in the Valley” was pulled because it did not fit the “celebratory nature” of the opening.
Results of Incident: NCAC sent a letter to Kennesaw State University President Dr. Daniel Papp, objecting to the removal of the commissioned artwork from the museum’s opening exhibit. After days of protest and cries of censorship, Kennesaw State University announced that it was in communication with Stanford about restoring the installation.