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Ann Rice O'Hanlon & The Memorial Hall Mural: Recent News Updates & Opinions

Kentucky Kernel

2019: April 5. Kernel Opinions. "The O'Hanlon mural is painful, confusing and complicated" from Mohammad Ahmad in Kentucky Kernel.

2021: February 8. Simpkins, Haley. "Mural still standing months after promise to remove," Kentucky Kernel.

Lexington Herald Leader Articles and Editorials

2020: June 24. Letters to the editor. "Keep Mural" from Jim Robertson, Lexington in Lexington Herald-Leader, p.9A.

2020: July 7. Childress, Rick, and Morgan Eads. "Berry, artist tell UK to stop removal of mural," Lexington Herald-Leader, p.1A.

2020: July 12. Editorial/Opinion. "A History primer" from Donna Tickle Hewett, Lexington in Lexington Herald-Leader, p.2C.

2020: July 15. Turner, Bill. "Disappointed in - Wendell Berry's defense of 'disgustingly offensive' mural," Lexington Herald-Leader, p.11A.

2020: July 26. Editorial/Opinion. "Deeper problem" from Estill C. Pennington, Paris; "'Slam' on Berry" from Abby Wasserman, O'Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley, California; "Feedback fear" from Bronson O'Quinn in Lexington; all in Lexington Herald-Leader, p.2C. 

2020: July 28. Blackford, Linda. "Here's a fix to UK's endless mural debate," Lexington Herald-Leader, p.7A. 

2020: July 31. Finan, Christopher. "UK would destroy two works - of art if it gets rid of the mural," Lexington Herald-Leader, p.9A.

New York Times

2020: July 6. Jacobs, Julia. "Student's calls to remove a mural were answered. Now comes a lawsuit.," The New York Times.

WEKU 88.9

2020: July 10. Johnson, Stu. "Lawsuit is latest chapter in the debate over UK mural," WEKU (radio).

Lancaster Farming

2020: July 19. Gruber, Phillip. Editorial/Opinion "Off the wall," Lancaster Farming.


O'Hanlon Center in Mill Valley, California

2020: July 22.

The Ann O'Hanlon Story: Position of the OHCA Board of Directors


Intellectual Freedom Blog

2020: August 18. Eberle, Holly. "Reflections on the O'Hanlon Mural: what is happening," Intellectual Freedom Blog, The Office for intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association.

Front Porch Republic

2020: October 9. Wasserman, Abby. "Embattled: The story of the O'Hanlon fresco," Front Porch Republic

American Libraries

2020: November 2. Balzer, Cass. "Drawing the line: How libraries handle the legacy of racists murals," American Libraries.

Virtual Luncheon

Resolving Tensions over Race and Representation in Public Art: a conversation on historical murals

By the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)

February 16, 2021  12:30p.m. EST

Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals on college campuses occupy a special category on the spectrum of fraught public art. Decidedly different from Confederate monuments and dormitories named after slave-holding benefactors, yet still troubling due to the flattened, exclusionary histories they portray. While some muralists inserted details that may be read as subversive and acknowledge America’s racist history, others perpetuated racial stereotypes in paint and stone. Aside from providing work to artists during the Great Depression, these murals in schools, libraries, and post offices were meant to uplift economically downtrodden communities. Today, however, universities are acknowledging that these works pose barriers for inclusion—and developing solutions to satisfy a host of constituencies.

NCAC's virtual luncheon will explore the various approaches to resolving tensions around such work–including shrouding or relocating artworks, commissioning new works, innovative course offerings, and public programs. Our participants will also examine the context and outcomes in a select number of cases.


Karyn Olivier, Artist and Associate Professor of Sculpture at Temple University, Philadelphia

Adriene Lim, Dean of Libraries at the University of Maryland, College Park

Anthony Huffman, Brooklyn-based scholar, curator, and cultural critic