By Matthew Delaney
A new portrait honoring the life and legacy of U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings will be unveiled at the Baltimore Museum of Art later this month, before heading to its permanent home in the U.S. Capitol
Cummings, who died in October 2019, had a political career defined by his civil rights advocacy.
He has been memorialized by Baltimore-based artist Jerrell Gibbs, who is known for his work “evocative portraits of Black life and identity,” according to a release from the BMA.
The portrait will be viewable to the public in the John Russell Pope building from Dec. 22 to Jan. 9, where it will then be moved the Capitol.
“In life Elijah and I enjoyed supporting the diversity of artists and events hosted by the Baltimore Museum of Art,” said Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in the release.
“We are exceedingly pleased with the result. Jerrell Gibbs is a masterfully expressive painter and his stunning portrait perfectly captures Elijah’s essence and majesty. It is a timeless masterpiece.”
Rockeymoore Cummings and the BMA felt it was imperative that the artist have their roots in Baltimore just as the late congressman did.
Gibbs was chosen from the short-list of finalists that included fellow Baltimore artists Monica Ikegwu and Ernest Shaw. The BMA said that over 30 local artists were considered in this process.