Opening Reception for Tracing Slavery
Join us for the opening reception of Tracing Slavery, a two-part exhibition featuring artists Moses Williams and Kara Walker. This event is free and open to the public! This event is FREE and open to the public. Tickets to enter The Trout Gallery will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis due to COVID-19 protocols.
Moses Williams: Silhouettes / October 22, 2021 - January 22, 2022
Moses Williams (1777-c. 1825) was a prolific silhouette artist and former slave who worked for Charles Willson Peale, the early-American portraitist, naturalist, and museum founder. Williams cut silhouette portraits of guests to Peale’s museum in Philadelphia as a memento of their visit. The black and white portraits made by Williams are striking in that they represent the white, powerful elite of the early nineteenth century, many of whom were slaveholders. Among the sitters in this selection is Dr. James Hunter Fayssoux, a friend of the Peales who was likely studying medicine in Philadelphia with Dr. Benjamin Rush.
Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) / October 22, 2021 - January 22, 2022
Walker’s work deals extensively with the experience and identity of African American women—past and present, which she explores in part through contemporary imagery portrayed as narratives cast in the manner of nineteenth-century cut silhouettes. At first nostalgic, perhaps charming in appearance, Walker’s silhouette imagery depicts the brutal reality of white-on-black violence in American society. Walker’s work and the nineteenth-century artistic sources she references could hardly be paired with a more poignant body of material than the cut silhouettes made by Moses Williams, featured in Tracing Slavery I on display in conjunction with Walker's prints.