The Great British art tour: Stirling Smith museums Pipe of Freedom – The Guardian

In the first of a new series, were bringing the art to you while Britains public art collections are closed. The Pipe of Freedom was painted in 1869 by Thomas Stuart Smith, the artist and creator of the gallery in which it hangs today, the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, in main Scotland.The painting celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States and depicts a previously enslaved male as complimentary and independent. The art work is well travelled– it has actually been loaned to exhibitions consisting of Roots: the African Inheritance in Scotland at Edinburghs City Art Centre in 1997, as well as Manchester Art Gallerys Black Victorians in 2005, and, last year, it captured the eye of British baritone Peter Brathwaite, who was taking part in the Getty Museum Challenge, a social media project that asked individuals recreate art work using only household products. – You can see more art from the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum on Art UK, and discover out more on the museums site. – This series is brought to you in cooperation with Art UK, which brings the countrys art together on one digital platform and tells the stories behind the art.

The Great British art tour
In the first of a new series, were bringing the art to you while Britains public art collections are closed. In partnership with Art UK we will every day be exploring highlights and hidden gems from throughout the nation. Todays pick: an event of emancipation in an image too risky for the Royal Academy
Nicola Wilson, collections supervisor, Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Wed 13 Jan 2021 06.00 GMT

text

The Pipe of Freedom was painted in 1869 by Thomas Stuart Smith, the artist and founder of the gallery in which it hangs today, the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, in main Scotland.The painting commemorates the abolition of slavery in the US and portrays a previously enslaved guy as independent and totally free. The painting– considered radical at the time– is one of three portraits of black guys by Smith, who painted them not as marginal figures however as the main subject occupying the centre of the canvas.The Pipe of Freedom, 1869, by Thomas Stuart Smith (1813-69). Photograph: The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & & MuseumHis subject is a guy covered in a red Paisley shawl, standing versus a wall while lighting his long-stemmed clay pipe. We do not have any details on the caretaker aside from that our company believe he was living in London at the time, as this is where Smith was living and working in 1869. If you look closely at the brick wall behind him, we see that this is far more than a picture, it is also a political statement. On the wall is a poster publicising the sale of slaves, however this poster has actually been covered by another, of Abraham Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation, which declared on 1 January 1863: “All individuals held as slaves” within the defiant states “are, and henceforward shall be complimentary.” The torn poster on the ideal mention “St George– His Last Appearance”, referring obliquely to the British impact on US emancipation.
Smith sent his painting to the Royal Academy for its exhibit in 1869, however it was rejected, he claimed on political premises. The painting was instead awaited an additional program alongside other works considered unsuitable or too provocative by the Academy.
The art work is well travelled– it has actually been loaned to exhibits including Roots: the African Inheritance in Scotland at Edinburghs City Art Centre in 1997, as well as Manchester Art Gallerys Black Victorians in 2005, and, last year, it captured the eye of British baritone Peter Brathwaite, who was taking part in the Getty Museum Challenge, a social media task that asked individuals recreate art work using only family items. – You can see more art from the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum on Art UK, and discover out more on the museums website. – This series is brought to you in cooperation with Art UK, which brings the nations art together on one digital platform and informs the stories behind the art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *