A Walk in the Valley

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Artist: Ruth Stanford

Year: 2014

Date of Action: February 27, 2014

Region: North America

Location: Kennesaw, Georgia, USA

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Installation

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.