Offending Mural Is Uncovered, for Brief Peeks

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ALBANY — For the last decade or so, one of New York’s most curious and controversial pieces of public art has been hiding, Oz-like, behind a big green curtain.

 

The work in question is a 19th-century mural titled “The Genius of America,” a sprawling 30-foot-long fantasy at the State Education Building whose depictions include angels, babies and women in togas; Gen. George Washington and a god of war; and what seems to be a group of colonial zombies rising from the grave.

 

Amid that symbolic swirl, in the lower right corner, is a striking and some say unsettling image: a slave in loincloth being held under the arms by a well-dressed white man.

 

It was that image and its potential symbolism — was the slave being lifted or restrained? — that led state education officials to hide “Genius” behind heavy emerald-color drapery in 2000, after department staff members, some of them African-American, complained that the mural was offensive.  By 

Offending Mural Is Uncovered, for Brief Peeks (NYT)

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Celebration of over 150 years of Black Literary and Artistic development in Paris

Here you will find the works of one of the most prolific African American artists. Based in Paris, France, this selection includes current masterpieces as well retrospectives from a body of over 30 years as an ethnic artist painting in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Your choice of paintings, prints, posters, postcards, puzzles, memorabilia, T-shirts, collectibles, accessories,and more, is only a click away. Read more

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