No. 391: Monuments and memorials

Episode No. 391 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast looks at art and its relationship to monuments and memorials in the United States and features art historian Sarah Beetham, artist and activist Julia Pulawski and artist Ebony G. Patterson.

Sarah Beetham (Twitter) is an assistant professor of art history at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She’s working on a book titled “Monumental Crisis: Accident, Vandalism and the Civil War Citizen Soldier,” a look at how monuments have become central to a range of American discourses in the many decades since the Civil War.

Julia Pulawski is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and along with artist Annie Simpson is part of an ad hoc group of Chapel Hill activists that erected guerilla monuments to James Cates and an anonymized Negro Wench in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. At the February 12, 2019 dedication of the James Cates monument, the group handed out 50 free copies of a free zine about James Cates’s life and murder that was adapted from research conducted by Mike Ogle. It is available for free here.

The Anti-Racist Activist Fund is helping to defray the legal costs of Silent Sam-related protesters. You may donate here.

Ebony G. Patterson is an artist whose work updates the memorial form and expands it to include people and groups typically excluded from the American memorial and monument tradition. Among the works she and host Tyler Green discuss are two recent memorials: …called up, presented last year at Open Spaces Kansas City; and two works recently installed at the Baltimore Museum of Art: … and babies too… and an untitled installation of 150 hand-embellished toy guns presented with with Joshua Johnson’s Charles Herman Stricker Wilmans (ca. 1804). The Perez Art Museum Miami is presenting a solo exhibition of Patterson’s work titled … while the dew is still on the roses… through May 5.

Air date: May 2, 2019.

Monument to Negro Wench as installed in Chapel Hill, NC.

Monument to James Cates as installed in Chapel Hill, NC.

Ebony G. Patterson, “…for little whispers…” installation view at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Oct. 10, 2018-April 7, 2019.

Ebony G. Patterson, “…for little whispers…” installation view at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Oct. 10, 2018-April 7, 2019.

Ebony G. Patterson, “…for little whispers…” installation view at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Oct. 10, 2018-April 7, 2019.

Ebony G. Patterson, “…for little whispers…” installation view at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Oct. 10, 2018-April 7, 2019.

Ebony G. Patterson, Called Up, 2018, in Swope Park for Open Spaces Kansas City.

Ebony G. Patterson, Called Up, 2018, in Swope Park for Open Spaces Kansas City.

Ebony G. Patterson, Called Up, 2018, in Swope Park for Open Spaces Kansas City.

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