Tracing Slavery: II

Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)


Walker’s work deals extensively with the experience and identity of African American women—past and present, which she explores in part through contemporary imagery portrayed as narratives cast in the manner of nineteenth-century cut silhouettes. At first nostalgic, perhaps charming in appearance, Walker’s silhouette imagery depicts the brutal reality of white-on-black violence in American society. Walker’s work and the nineteenth century artistic sources she references could hardly be paired with a more poignant body of material than the cut silhouettes made by Moses Williams, featured in Tracing Slavery I on display in conjunction with Walker's prints.

Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.