Rushmore by Kerry James Marshall is an enormous, 13,000-square-foot mural that was commissioned as part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Public Art in 2017.
The mural, which is painted directly on the Chicago Cultural Center, honors 20 women who were influential to Chicago’s arts and culture. In painting Rushmore, Marshall was reacting to the imbalance of monuments and statuary dedicated to women versus men. Marshall was assisted by Chicago artist Jeffrey Zimmerman to complete the piece. Though Marshall is a world-renowned artist whose work has sold for millions of dollars, he accepted a commission of only $1, citing it as his civic duty. Marshall is originally from Birmingham, Alabama, but calls Chicago home. His work largely depicts Black figures, with distinct influence from the civil rights movement and Black cultural identity.
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