Visiting a museum exhibit can teach people a lot more about history than many believe. Browsing through a museum exhibit can teach people about ancient Egyptian pharaohs, Roman rulers, and Greek philosophies. We do not have the ability to speak to people from the past, but we do have ways to understand their mindsets, struggles, and lives, and that is through the viewing and interpretation of art in a museum exhibit. Although the United States is a relatively young country, nearly half of its existence has been plagued by inhumanity. Because it was not that long ago, we still have a good idea about the awful and disgusting time of slavery, but in the future it may not be as clear as it is now. One way to preserve an understanding of that time period is through slavery art, which has gained quite a bit of popularity over the years. Below are some of the most famous pieces of slavery art available for viewing at a museum exhibit.
1. Abraham Lincoln and Emancipated Slaves – This piece of slavery art is a drawing that was created by Thomas Nast. It depicts a visit by Abraham Lincoln to Richmond, Virginia which was the capital of the Confederate States of America. Tons of newly emancipated slaves flooded the streets on the day after Richmond fell, and Thomas Nast was able to capture the hope that the free slaves had and the adoration for Lincoln who helped them gain their freedom. Being a very important work of slavery art, this drawing is likely to be found in a museum exhibit. Most will be prints of the original, but every museum exhibit can’t have the original for every slavery art piece.
2. The Color of Money – These were a series of slavery art works created by John W. Jones, and brought to light the number of slavery depictions that could be found printed onto Confederate currency. The small images found on the bills, such as a slave with a smile on his face carrying a container filled with cotton, were made much larger in these paintings. The slavery art that was derived from the pictures on Confederate money should be very interesting to see in one place on display at a museum exhibit, hopefully those paintings tour the country in the near future.
3. Portrait of Rip Van Dam – This slavery art was on display a few years ago at the Slavery in New York museum exhibit. Rip Van Dam was one of New York’s most successful merchants, but unfortunately he also partook in the trading of slaves. He is one of many that made fortunes due to the slave trade, and his image was shown in that museum exhibit so that people better understand the history of New York.
You will not always be able to find a museum exhibit with slavery art locally, some travel may be involved. The time and effort will be worth it though, to know more about American history, especially the dark periods.