This fall, as part of a rich campus-wide initiative examining the University’s historic links to the institution of slavery, the Museum is presenting a broad range of opportunities to explore the ways in which artists represent and engage with American history and wrestle with a legacy that puts Princeton not just at the center of our nation’s struggle for freedom but also at the heart of its long association with slavery.
In my view, the best public art is not simply pleasing but is also provocative and memorable, inviting us to consider our relationship to it even after we have left that space for another. Great public art should not always immediately satisfy.
Seeing to Remember: Representing Slavery across the Black Atlantic
How should our institutions represent slavery in their exhibitions and collections? Anna Arabindan-Kesson, assistant professor in the departments of Art and Archaeology and African American Studies, investigated this question this past spring together with eight undergraduate students in her new course, “Seeing to Remember: Representing Slavery across the Black Atlantic.”
The British photographer Michael Kenna began his own work with the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1992 as an homage to Sheeler. What Kenna has called “pilgrimages” to sites where other photographers have worked helped him develop his own vision, one that also owes much to the early pictorialist photographers and their fascination with the visual effects of mists, smoke, and soft blurring.