Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Portrait Removed from Texas A&M after Complaint over Robert E. Lee Image

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Portrait Removed from Texas A&M after Complaint over Robert E. Lee Image

Article excerpt

COLLEGE STATION, Texas

Officials have removed a portrait of former Texas A&M University president Gilbert "Gibb" Gilchrist from the school building named after him because its background had an image of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Herbert Richardson, director of the Texas Transportation Institute, says he ordered in late May that the portrait be taken down from the lobby of the institute's research building on the university's west campus after receiving a complaint that Lee's image carried racist overtones, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported last month.

The painting pictured Gilchrist in the foreground with a portrait of Lee in the background.

"I felt that the lobby of that building is not the place for a confrontation between admirers of Robert E. Lee and those who view him as a symbol of slavery," Richardson says.

Officials are considering whether to display the portrait, painted in the early 1950s, in another location or keep it in storage. Meanwhile, a plaque honoring Gilchrist is planned for the space where the painting had hung. …

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