2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Am I Not a Man and a Brother?: English Abolitionist Imagery in American Print Media 

Amy E. Kruse
Dr. Heidi Cook, Faculty Mentor

Josiah Wedgwood, famous eighteenth-century British potter, created a ceramic medallion in support of the abolition of slavery. The Am I Not a Man and a Brother emblem was created in 1787 for the Society of Affecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Great Britain. Wedgwood’s emblem was copied and appropriated by craftsmen and artists onto a number of media including ceramic, print, and monuments. My research examines how the iconography of the image was altered with the changes in media and location. Print media was one of the most prolific attempts of public agitation in support and against the abolition of slavery in the United States. In this paper, I will examine references to Wedgwood’s medallion in images from Harper’s Weekly newspapers from the Civil War. The deviations in the imagery of this emblem reveal how politically-charged the atmosphere of the Civil-War-era was during the American Abolition debate.

Keywords: Abolition, Nineteenth Century, Print Media, Slavery, American Art, Civil War, Josiah Wedgwood, African Diaspora

Topic(s):Art - Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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