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Slavery as Princeton Confront Its Ugly Past

sgtdjones 2017-11-13 20:14:43 

A Contemporary Artist Is Helping Princeton Confront Its Ugly Past

Princeton University has one answer to these questions with a new public-art project that confronts the school’s participation in the nation’s early sins. On Monday, the university unveiled Impressions of Liberty, by the African American artist Titus Kaphar.

The sculpture is the conceptual core of a campus-wide initiative that begins this fall and aims to reconcile the university’s ties to slavery.

The Princeton and Slavery Project’s website has released hundreds of articles and primary documents about slavery and racism at Princeton, which was once jokingly described as the “northernmost outpost of Southern culture.”

There is perhaps no better-suited artist than Kaphar to help the school grapple with past inequities and consider the stains of its founders. His art concentrates on the way history is remembered, highlighting the figures and inconveniences, as one 2009 Art in America review described it, who are “habitually … written out of grand historical narratives.”

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