Kara Walker, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)

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June 17–Oct. 22, 2017
Gallery 18

Widely known for her radical engagement with issues of race, gender and sexuality, Kara Walker is one of the most successful and celebrated artists today. Her print series, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), 2005 will be on display from June 17 – October 22, 2017 in celebration of its recent acquisition by TMA. It features 15 of the artist’s signature black silhouette figures in silkscreen layered over enlarged wood-engravings of Civil War scenes taken from Harper’s Pictorial History, first published in 1866. By uniting her contemporary re-imagining of events from an African-American perspective with the historical record, Walker creates a powerful visual statement that challenges the conventional one-sided textbook account of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. This exhibition is supported in part by the H. L. Thompson, Jr. Family Fund and the Ohio Arts Council.


Limited Edition Kara Walker Water Pitcher

Limited edition Kara Walker water pitcher (side 1)

Limited Edition Kara Walker Water Pitcher
For sale at The Museum Store
In the spring of 2014, Kara Walker exhibited A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, a controversial and acclaimed installation in the soon to be demolished Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. This limited edition pitcher was created in collaboration with porcelain manufacturer Bernardaud in honor of the show. The pitcher features two paper-cut silhouettes (each side has a different face) that are reminiscent of the naked sphinx-like sculpture from the installation, an homage to: “the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World.”

Additional Kara Walker–related merchandise is available for purchase at The Museum Store.

Related Programs
Curator Talk: Robin Reisenfeld, Kara Walker
Aug. 19: 2 p.m., Little Theater and Gallery 18
Exhibition curator Robin Reisenfeld talks about the work of artist Kara Walker in the Little Theater. After the power point presentation, Reisenfeld will lead a tour of the exhibition Kara Walker’s Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated).

Lecture: Holly Hey, “White Fear from Black Voices”
Oct. 7: 2 p.m., Little Theater
University of Toledo associate professor of film and video production Holly Hey explores the semantic discourse between Kara Walker’s Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) and the WGN Network’s serial drama Underground, which both tell stories about black people enslaved by white oppressors during Antebellum America. This lecture is a co-presentation of the Toledo Museum of Art and the University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film.

Art House Film Series: Kara Walker: Short Films and Interviews
Oct. 13: 7 p.m. and Oct. 21: 2 p.m., Little Theater
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Kara Walker’s Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), this screening includes several short interviews with Kara Walker drawn from the second season of the PBS series Art in the Twenty First Century, as well as two short films Walker made about her massive 2014 sculptural installation at the former Domino sugar factor in Brooklyn, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby. The Art House Film Series is sponsored in part by Ann and Joseph Pilkington.

Film Double Feature: Birth of a Movement and DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation
Oct. 14: 2 p.m., Little Theater
In 1915, Boston-based African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but notoriously pro-Ku Klux Klan film The Birth of a Nation, unleashing a fight that still rages today about race relations, media representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood.

Based on Dick Lehr’s book The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights, this PBS documentary captures the backdrop to this prescient clash between human rights, freedom of speech, and a changing media landscape.

DJ Spooky’s 2008 film project Rebirth of a Nation is a radical sixty-minute remix of the Griffith film presented with the Kronos Quartet performance of DJ Spooky’s score. The mixing of classical sounds entwined with DJ Spooky’s electronic beats serve as additional commentary on The Birth of a Nation’s brutal story.

Great Performances: University of Toledo Gospel Choir
Oct. 12: 7 p.m., Great Gallery
The University of Toledo Gospel Choir (UTGC) has toured New York City, volunteered at Long Island Teen Challenge, and even sang with recording artist Chris Tomlin. UTGC has participated in many events in the Toledo area, including at local churches and the Cherry Street Mission. Great Performances is supported in part by Kingston HealthCare and the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Fund.