From abolitionist medallions to statues of bondspeople bearing broken chains, sculpture gave visual and material form to narratives about the end of slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sculpture at the Ends of Slavery sheds light on the complex—and at times contradictory—place of such works as they moved through a world contoured both by the devastating economy of enslavement and by international abolitionist campaigns. By examining matters of making, circulation, display, and reception, Caitlin Meehye Beach argues that sculpture stood as a highly visible but deeply unstable site from which to interrogate the politics of slavery. With focus on works by Josiah Wedgwood, Hiram Powers, Edmonia Lewis, John Bell, and Francesco Pezzicar, Beach uncovers both the radical possibilities and the conflicting limitations of art in the pursuit of justice in racial capitalism's wake.
Sculpture at the Ends of Slavery
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