Hidden in Plain Sight: Concealing Enslavement in American Visual Culture

In an illustrated lecture, Rachel Stephens will share her recently published findings addressing themes of concealment regarding the art of slavery. Her book, Hidden in Plain Sight: Concealing Enslavement in American Visual Culture, tracks the ways that artwork was used by proslavery supporters to justify the institution. Stephens will introduce and trace the themes used by artists in support of slavery and discuss a racist history that often involved forms of concealment. She will reveal the development and evolution of these themes as well as the ways that white-produced artwork addressing enslavement attempted to conceal the humanity of enslaved people and much more. 

Dr. Rachel Stephens is an associate professor of art history at the University of Alabama. Her research focuses on the art of the U.S. South. Dr. Stephens spent the fall semester of 2021 as a Virginia Humanities fellow at the Library of Virginia, researching Confederate art in Richmond. She is the author of Selling Andrew Jackson: Ralph E. W. Earl and the Politics of Portraiture and Hidden in Plain Sight: Concealing Enslavement in American Visual Culture.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Event Details

Date & Time

Location

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

June 11, 2022

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Virginia Living Museum
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August 13, 2022

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Virginia Living Museum