Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast
Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast
Organized around a single object—the marble bust Why Born Enslaved! by French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux—this is the first exhibition at The Met to examine Western sculpture in relation to the history of transatlantic slavery.
The Met Museum
March 10, 2022 to March 05, 2023
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Exhibition details

Featuring more than thirty-five works of art in sections unfolding around Carpeaux’s sculpture, Fictions of Emancipation will offer an in-depth look at portrayals of Black enslavement, emancipation, and personhood with an aim toward challenging the notion that representation in the wake of abolition constitutes a clear moral or political stance.

Artist details

Important works by Josiah Wedgwood, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, Charles Cordier, Edmonia Lewis, Louis-Simon Boizot, and others will show how Western artists of the nineteenth century engaged with the Black figure as a political symbol and site of exoticized beauty, while contemporary sculptures by Kara Walker and Kehinde Wiley will connect the dialogue around Carpeaux’s bust to current conversations about the legacies of slavery in the Western world.

Presented by

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave
New York, NY

Image: Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Why Born Enslaved! (1873)