Making History Visible will bring together historical and contemporary works to consider the role of visual art in creating an image of American identity and a multifaceted representation of history in the United States. Portraiture and history paintings were instrumental to the early formation of the republic, generating a vision of the new nation that served to unify the disparate colonies behind a cast of influential figures and pivotal events. This fall, as Princeton University examines its historic links to the institution of slavery, this installation juxtaposes works from the eighteenth century with those of contemporary artists to call into question who is represented, who is invisible, and what cultural values are embedded in the visual traditions of American history.
The artists whose work is featured include Titus Kaphar, Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Glenn Ligon, Sally Mann, William Ranney, Faith Ringgold, William Rush, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Charles White, John Wilson, and Hale Woodruff.
Making History Visible is one component of a rich campus-wide conversation catalyzed by the Princeton and Slavery Project, which examines the University’s historical links to the institution of slavery.