Exhibition of Banknotes Depicting the Harsh Truth of Slavery

25 Apr 2018  Wed

An artist named John W. Jones from South Carolina took inspiration from more than 126 images of enslaved Africans on Confederate and obsolete Southern state currency and made colourful acrylic artwork. These works are being showcased as a travelling exhibit called “Confederate Currency: The Color of Money”, which started on 6th April at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

The artwork depicts how people used free labour to become wealthier. Some show happy slave moms and babies in the field while others show healthy slave males wearing good shirts. However, they are working hard behind mules or are carrying a heavy cotton sack. A person is surveying the workers with a whip in his hand, riding a horse.

The artwork has been showcased at to the Avery Research Center Museum, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Louisiana State University, Schumacher Gallery, and the Augusta Museum of History etc. Academia delle Belle Arti of Brera in Italy gave Jones the U.S. Consul General’s Award for Cultural Diplomacy in April 2017.

Image Courtesy: Avery Research Center

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