Transracial activist Rachel Dolezal resigned from her post as president of Spokane's local NAACP chapter this morning, acknowledging that the controversy surrounding her ethnicity—she's a white woman who insists she's black—is a detriment to the organization and its work. While Dolezal's racial ambivalence has proven newsworthy and bizarre, it's her extensive deception and many lies about (and to) her immediately family that have damned Rachel Dolezal in the press.
As media and onlookers pour over Dolezal's statement of resignation, another controversy has come to light. Dolezal, a painter who studied fine arts at Howard University, is accused of plagiarizing British watercolor landscape artist J.M.W. Turner's painting The Slave Ship, which is currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Social media users have shared side-by-side comparisons of Dolezal's The Shape Of Our Kind and Turner's The Slave Ship.
Rachel Dolezal plagiarized a painting that has its own damn wikipedia article (a painting i had to take a final on) pic.twitter.com/i5F8IhZaL0— Jonathan Frandzone (@NotAllBhas) June 15, 2015
Dolezal earned her MFA from Howard in 2002. She maintains an art blog of her own work, which prominently features black men and women as her subjects. The list price for one of her elk-hide portraits, Visitiation, is $10,000. Several of her other paintings are sold out.