• Current

    Featured exhibitions and special projects currently on view

  • Past

    Previously installed exhibitions and special projects

Leon Morton, Freedom Word Portraits, 2022

‘Leon Morton’s Freedom Word Portraits is a new media artwork created for Seeing America: 18th & 19th Century.

Leon Morton, Rev. Richard Allen, 2022. Algorithmic digital drawings displayed on monitor, 26 ½ x 26 ½ in. (67.31 x 67.31 cm) Purchase 2023 Helen McMahon Brady Cutting Fund | 2023.2

Rev. Richard Allen

Rev. Richard Allen (1760–1831) was born enslaved but purchased his freedom in 1783. Allen was a minister, educator, writer, and the founder of the first independent Black church in the US, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He was also the first Bishop of the AME Church.

The Lord was pleased to strengthen us, and remove all fear from us, and disposed our hearts to be as useful as possible. Rev. Richard Allen
If you love your children, if you love your country, if you love the God of love, clear your hands from slaves, burden not your children or country with them. Rev. Richard Allen
We who have been born and nurtured on this soil, we, whose habits, manners, and customs are the same in common with other Americans, can never consent to be the bearers of the redress offered by that Society to that much afflicted. Rev. Richard Allen
This land, which we have watered with our tears and our blood, is now our mother country, and we are well satisfied to stay where wisdom abounds and the gospel is free. Rev. Richard Allen
Whereas our ancestors (not of choice) were the first successful cultivators of the wilds of America, we their descendants feel ourselves entitled to participate in the blessings of her luxuriant soil. Rev. Richard Allen
Leon Morton, Harriet Tubman, 2022. Algorithmic digital drawings displayed on monitor, 26 ½ x 26 ½ in. (67.31 x 67.31 cm) Purchase 2023 Helen McMahon Brady Cutting Fund | 2023.2

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (ca. 1822–1913) was born enslaved and successfully escaped to freedom in Philadelphia in 1849. She was an activist, abolitionist, and operator on the Underground Railroad, which provided shelter and assistance to those escaping slavery.

I have heard their groans and sighs, and seen their tears, and I would give every drop of blood in my veins to free them. Harriet Tubman
I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger. Harriet Tubman
I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive. Harriet Tubman
When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven. Harriet Tubman
Leon Morton, Frederick Douglass, 2022. Algorithmic digital drawings displayed on monitor, 26 ½ x 26 ½ in. (67.31 x 67.31 cm) Purchase 2023 Helen McMahon Brady Cutting Fund | 2023.2

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (ca. 1817–1895) was born enslaved and escaped to freedom in 1838, settling in Massachusetts. Douglass was a prominent activist, author, and a leading figure of the abolitionist movement.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. Frederick Douglass
The argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn. Frederick Douglass
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Frederick Douglass
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. Frederick Douglass