On Saturday, May 5 a new student-curated exhibition will open at Winterthur Museum. “Truths of the Trade: Slavery and the Winterthur Collection” encourages visitors to look beyond style and craftsmanship to consider how the slave trade and the experiences of enslaved people shaped the material culture of early America. Seven object videos will be included in the exhibition, produced by University of Delaware students in Assistant Professor Jennifer Van Horn’s graduate seminar “The Visual and Material Culture of Slavery.” Each video focuses on a different object in Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library’s collection to tell a more complex history that considers the impact of slavery on American fine and decorative arts. The videos are also viewable on YouTube.
The videos are the work of students Rachel Asbury, Alexandra Cade, Candice Candeto, Emelie Gevalt, Victoria Sunnergren, Rebeccah Swerdlow, and Zoë Wray
“Truths of the Trade” will be on view in the Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery until August 5. It includes a newly acquired cabinet involved in the slave trade and related collections objects that were tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic commerce in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate students at Winterthur (and the Department of Art History's own Victoria Sunnergren), the exhibit was led by Dr. Catharine Dann Roeber, Brock W. Jobe Assistant Professor of Decorative Arts and Material Culture.