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Re: Slave arts other than quilts

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From: dkj (jouets_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 10:09:34 PDT


> Well, I guess I have exposed my ignorance enough for one day.
>
lol! not at all, Jean! I will check out the books you mentioned.
I think folks have referenced architecture (I have seen pictures of
buildings and/or churches that are round, with a central fireplace)
woodcarving (also statuary that are African in feel, and walking
sticks, and tobacco pipes ... ummm maybe better not to mention
those... :-}, pottery, and metalsmithing.
I am particularly fascinated by the way African traditions synthesized
with European traditions to create an American art form, especially
with quilts. Story quilts, of course, from the Fon people of Africa,
to Harriet Powers' quilts, to Faith Ringgold. Traditional strip
weaving reborn in quilting, asymmetry, bright colors...
Can't wait for "Quilts of Gee's Bend" to come out in paperback!
I remember reading long ago in regards to many different colors
and patterns in African-American quilts that translated to people
of higher status in Africa wearing many different patterns at the same
time. "Hidden in Plain View", the book Linda mentioned, explains
the use of quilts on the underground railroad... there is a picture
book that would be great to use with this, I think it's called
"Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt". I think there is a lesson
plan on the KinderArt site.
A website I found re African-American quilts:
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG97/quilt/atrads.html
Here's a story about Turner I remember... from a book I have
on my shelf somewhere... when he was studying under Eakins,
other students ridiculed him, culminating in an incident in which
Turner and his easel were dragged onto the street, and he was tied
to the easel in a mock crucifixion and left to free himself as best
he could. I think at this point he left the Eakins' studio and went
to Paris.
I have taken to, after the example of my mother, referring to
black people who were slaves as enslaved Africans. Not too hard
to say, and feels as if we are emphasizing people rather than possessions.
Our school's year-long theme next year will be "American Tapestry" or
"American Mosaic", with an emphasis on "immigration", so I am
following this discussion with great interest.
Just rambling...
Deborah

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