Philbrook Unveils Kehinde Wiley Portrait
TULSA, Oklahoma - Philbrook Museum announced a new art acquisition on Facebook live Wednesday. The museum unveiled a work by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary artist known for his portraits of black men and women. This makes the Philbrook the first place in the state to have a Kehinde Wiley work.
Wiley is the artist selected to paint the official President Barack Obama portrait.
The newly acquired work plays off the historical background of the Philbrook villa while being grounded in today, a spokesman said. The large piece depicts a black man dressed in contemporary clothing posed in historic style on a rearing horse.
The piece called "Equestrian Portrait of King Philip the fourth" has never been seen before.
"He takes classic, Europen history painting and then takes sitters, typically from his neighborhood in Brooklyn from the street, wearing traditional streetwear, primarily African American men and women and paints them into these kind of historical painting settings," said Philbrook Director & President.
The piece is now part of Philbrook's permanent collection.
The midtown Tulsa art museum boasts an eclectic collection of European art, particularly from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods. It also features a growing collection of modern and contemporary art as well as Native American pieces.
Philbrook is located at 2727 South Rockford in midtown and was originally the home of oilman Waite Phillips.
Phillips donated the villa to the city of Tulsa in 1938.