Springfield Museums Press Releases

Lecture to Examine Depictions of African Americans in Currier & Ives Prints

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

March 2, 2006

The Currier & Ives lecture series at the Museum of Fine Arts will continue on
March 19 at 2 p.m. with Emancipation Day: Postbellum Visions of African Americans in Currier & Ives' Darktown Prints. The talk will be presented by James Smethurst, associate professor in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Smethurst will examine the images of African Americans in Currier & Ives prints and in other examples of U.S. popular culture and the relation of those images to the political struggles in the years following the Civil War and the rise of Jim Crow segregation.

Smethurst is the author of The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African-American Poetry, 1930-1946 and The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s. He is also co-editor of Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism, and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States and the forthcoming Radicalism in the South since Reconstruction. He is currently at work on a study of African American literature and culture.

The program is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Currier & Ives: An American Panorama, on view at the Museum of Fine Arts through June 4, 2006. The lecture series is sponsored by The Republican. The talk is free with museum admission.
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