African American Sculptor
Classroom Building, Room 100
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Humanities Institute Cordially invites you to attend Eugène Warburg and Harriet Beecher Stowe: An African American Sculptor in Europe in the 1850s.
Eugène Warburg, son of a German Jewish father and enslaved mother, grew up in New Orleans. After training as a sculptor there and starting his career, he departed for further study in Europe in 1852. Assisted by his godfather, a pro-slavery American diplomat, he found some success and exhibited his works at the Paris Salon, but in 1856 the young artist switched gears, moving to London and obtaining the support of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the famous American novelist (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and abolitionist. Warburg’s work, Uncle Tiff, is perhaps the first major sculpted representation of an African-American by an African American, and this talk will explore Warburg’s complex career and the challenges of representing people of color in Civil-War-era America and Europe.
Paul Kaplan is professor of art history in the School of Humanities at Purchase College, SUNY, where he has taught since 1988. He is the author of The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art (Ann Arbor, 1985) and of numerous essays on European images of black Africans and Jews. In 2008 and again in 2012 he was a fellow of the Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. His Contraband Guides: Race and European Culture in American Art and Writing of the Civil-War Era will be published by Penn State Press in 2020.
This event is part of the WCC Humanities Institute’s 2018-2019 series of lectures, films, and other presentations, which has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and several generous donors. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this event or this series do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. www.neh.gov