|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Sunday, February 25, 2018
|Are Confederate monuments important works of art? |
A Confederate monument featuring a statue of a Confederate soldier is seen in front of the Hernando County Courthouse in the midst of a national controversy over whether Confederate symbols should be removed from public display on August 19, 2017 in Brooksville, Florida. The issue is at the heart of a debate about race in America and a recent protest in Charlottesville, VA turned deadly as white-supremacists clashed with counter-demonstrators over a confederate statue. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP.
by Nova Safo
CHICAGO (AFP).- Confederate monuments of Civil War figures, who fought against the Union Army in an attempt to preserve slavery, have become central to the debate surrounding white supremacists and America's past.
New momentum has built to remove such monuments, after a violent white supremacist gathering in Virginia last weekend in support of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee.
President Donald Trump said Thursday he was "sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments."
What is the historical and artistic value of these Civil War statues? AFP asked two experts to weigh in: an American historian and a museum curator who has studied many of the monuments.
Why were these monuments built?
"Building these really in some ways was a political and cultural move," said James Grossman, head of the American Historical Association.
Most Confederate sculptures were erected in two eras: during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, primarily between 1895 to 1920, and as a counter-response to the civil rights movement starting in the 1950s, Grossman said.
"It had to do with uniting in essence white southerners, and then later by extension white Americans... in a celebration of the values of the Old South... a world in which many white people owned many black people.
"So that's the function of the statues. (It) is in a sense to create highly respectable ways of honoring a revolution... that did not have honorable purposes."
Are they important works of art?
Most Civil War sculptures -- whether for Union or Confederate figures -- are no more than "mediocre" in quality, said John Coffey, of the North Carolina Museum of Art, who has studied many of the works.
"There are exceptions," Coffey said, offering examples of Union Army figures.
"There are Civil War monuments by some of the greatest American sculptors -- Daniel Chester French or my particular favorite is Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
"(Saint-Gaudens) is arguably the finest American sculptor of the 19th Century and he produced several of the iconic memorials to the Civil War.
"One is the Shaw memorial in Boston Common in Massachusetts and the other is the Sherman equestrian statue at the foot of Central Park in New York City."
Why are so many 'mediocre'?
Most were created during a flurry of activity within a few decades in which lesser artists were commissioned to meet a high demand for works to stand in public spaces, Coffey said.
"Many of them produced things that you would almost describe as off-the-shelf: soldiers that could be repurposed as Union or Confederate -- differing perhaps in small details of buttons or armament, but for the most part all pretty much the same."
© Agence France-Presse
August 20, 2017
Archaeological find uncovers royal palace where Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born
Bones, silver found in 18th-century Dutch wreck off UK
Sotheby's Made in Britain to showcase 'A Century of Ceramics'
Christie's announces Asian Art Week: A series of auctions, viewings, and events
Sotheby's to offer the Yeats Family collection
Secrets of the deep: Senegal's slave shipwreck detective
Exhibition illustrates the various ways we express our love of flowers
Are Confederate monuments important works of art?
Dorotheum announces Part II sale of the collection of art dealer Reinhold Hofstätter
Designs of the Year nominees announced by Design Museum
Comparing the jaws of Porcupine fish reveals three new species
Exhibition presents Isamu Noguchi's influential designs for playgrounds and play structures
New Harry Potter book reveals values and fandom behind our favorite wizard
Larger than life portrait painting of Thomas Edison, signed by him, will be sold August 29th
Embattled Trumps to skip top art awards
Timbuktu's mausoleums, ancient protectors of city
British TV star Bruce Forsyth dies aged 89
New Britain Museum of American Art displays monumental masterpiece by Samuel F.B. Morse
Multisite exhibition engages 16 U.S. Latino and Latin American artists and collectives
Dave Lefner Reduction Linocut exhibition on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art
Graham Nash collection of underground art tops $6.3 million comics event at Heritage Auctions
Shaker Museum / Mount Lebanon hires Director of Advancement
New Orleans Museum of Art celebrates new hires
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- The Morgan explores the Medieval world's fascinating approach to the passage of time
2.- Experts discover hidden ancient Maya structures in Guatemala
3.- Egyptian archaeologists unveil tomb of Old Kingdom priestess Hetpet
4.- The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater
5.- Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù
6.- From Beowulf to Chaucer, the British Library makes 1,000 years of rich literary history freely available online
7.- Truck damages Peru's ancient Nazca lines
8.- Trish Duebber is new Coordinator of Youth Programs at Boca Raton Museum Art School
9.- Exhibition examines the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion
10.- The Dallas Museum of Art announces gift of three major European works
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.