It is interesting how many artworks depict different time periods of slavery history in an art museum. Almost every major event has some type of art that commemorates it or shows the emotion of the slavery history event in a very palpable way. Going to an art museum can teach a visitor about key points of more than two centuries of oppression that African Americans had to suffer through in this country, and learning about what happened is very important for everyone, no matter your age, race, or gender. Below are some of the scenes of slavery history that were immortalized by giving them a place in an art museum.
1. The Slave Ship – Painted by J.M.W. Turner and first officially displayed, likely in an art museum, in 1840, The Slave Ship showed an essential part of slavery history that all slaves had to go through. The painting depicted the long journey over the Atlantic Ocean that had to be made by slave traders and slaves. Many of the people that were transported on this ship faced sickness or death during the long journey, and Turner’s painting showed the indifference toward human life shown by slave traders as they simply threw the sickly and deceased overboard.
2. Cattle Boy – Not all artworks showing slavery history are centuries old and hanging in an art museum somewhere. There are plenty of contemporary artists that choose to express themselves or their ancestral heritage by creating art that depicts slavery history. Cattle Boy is a painting that shows young African American boys working with cattle, as many young slaves did that type of work. This work was created by Teresa Harris, and you do not have to visit an art museum to see it. In fact, it is on sale right now if you would like to have a piece of slavery history to view for yourself.
3. Southern Plantation Slaves Being Freed – This was a drawing by Thomas Nast, a staunch supporter of both Abraham Lincoln and civil rights during the Civil War. He made several draws that depicted different aspects of slavery history, the war, and the emancipation of the slaves. This particular drawing shows Union soldiers freeing slaves from a plantation, and the gratitude that the newly freed African Americans felt. Viewing Thomas Nast originals does not take a trip to an art museum either, several of his drawings are on sale. Viewing all of his works side by side can really give you a good idea about slavery history. Hopefully the Nast collection will be displayed in an art museum at some point in the future.
These three works of art are nowhere near the total amount of paintings and drawings that depict slavery history. Find out more by researching these artists or visiting an art museum that contains slavery art exhibits, increasing your knowledge on these subjects can give you a better understanding about the pain that your fellow humans have suffered through.