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Into the Maelstrom: The Life and Career of Mary Edmonia Lewis
In the U.S., one of the earliest and most passionate discussions around the fine arts and their role in defining American identity and national aspirations took place over neoclassical sculpture. Issues of belonging and citizenship, gender, race, region, and class were negotiated through the medium of marble. In the 19th century, Mary Edmonia Lewis (1845-1907), the first woman of Ojibwe and African American descent to gain international acclaim as a sculptor, entered these conversations. In this presentation, Professor Kirsten Buick will explore the impact of Lewis's career on the most compelling debates of her day--the fight to abolish slavery, True Womanhood, spirituality, and how the U.S. would resolve its relationship to its Indigenous populations.

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Feb 24, 2021 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Kirsten Pai Buick
Professor of Art History @University of New Mexico
Kirsten Pai Buick is Professor of Art History at the University of New Mexico where she teaches in the areas of the visual culture of the first British Empire; U.S. art to 1940; African American art; representations of the American landscape and representations of enslavement; and the history of women as patrons and collectors of the arts. She has published extensively on African American art and been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and the Charles Gaius Bolin Fellowship at Williams College. In 2015, she was chosen as the eleventh recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize for excellence in African American Art. Her book, Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the ‘Problem’ of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject, is published by Duke University Press. Her second book, In Authenticity: ‘Kara Walker’ and the Eidetics of Racism is in progress.