Planned Kehinde Wiley Exhibitions Canceled and Delayed in Wake of Assault Allegations

Wiley has denied the accusations, but museums in Omaha, Minneapolis, and Miami are postponing or shelving planned shows.

Kehinde Wiley in Paris, 2023. Photo: Julien De Rosa / AFP via Getty Images.

The Joslyn Museum of Art in Omaha, Nebraska, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), and the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) have shelved or postponed exhibitions by Kehinde Wiley. 

These actions come in the wake of accusations of sexual assault against the artist. The first was leveled by the artist-curator Joseph Awuah-Darko, on Instagram last month. Since then, two others, activist Derrick Ingram and Nathaniel Lloyd Richards, have made claims of rape or groping, which Wiley has dismissed as “baseless.” 

The Minneapolis show, an iteration of the survey “An Archaeology of Silence,” which debuted at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and later traveled to the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, has been canceled. “Mia was considering taking the Kehinde Wiley exhibition, but as a result of these unfortunate allegations we will not be proceeding with this presentation,” the institution said in a statement to ARTnews today.

“An Archaeology of Silence” was scheduled to travel to the PAMM from July 2024 to January 2025, but a museum spokesperson said it has “suspended plans” to host the show.

The Flatwater Free Press, meanwhile, reported yesterday that the exhibition “Kehinde Wiley: Omaha” will not open on September 10 as scheduled, when the Joslyn Museum reopens after a more than two-year renovation.


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“We are revisiting our exhibition schedule,” Amy Rummel, director of marketing and public relations, told the paper. “The Joslyn will announce any updates at a later date.” The museum declined to answer questions about whether the delay was related to the assault allegations. The exhibition was to focus on South Sudanese immigrants residing in Omaha.

While already widely known in the art world for portraits of young Black men in poses and settings that echoed those of the Old Masters, Wiley broke out onto a new level of global fame in 2018, when he was tapped by Democratic President Barack Obama to paint his portrait.

Wiley’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the museums’ actions or on the accusations themselves, but Jennifer J. Barrett, of New York firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, previously told ARTnews: “Posting something to Instagram doesn’t make it true. Yet, in today’s world, anyone can spread blatant lies with a single post, and the public accepts it at face value.”

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