Two Lectures Reflect on the African American Experience in War, Fashion and Life

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Two noted African American historians will offer their perspectives on the experiences of a World War I soldier and, an enslaved mother and daughter who became successful seamstresses with varied clientele.
Descriptions of the two lectures:  

The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Lecture by Celeste-Marie Bernier
Tuesday, October 11, 6pm / SCAD Museum of Art Theater

This year’s featured speaker for The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Lecture  is Celeste-Marie Bernier, a noted scholar and author of the recent book “Suffering and Sunset:” World War I in the Art and Life of Horace Pippin.
For self-made artist and World War I soldier Horace Pippin—who served in the 369th African American infantry—war provided a formative experience that defined his life and work. His transformation of combat service into canvases and autobiographies whose emotive power, psychological depth, and haunting realism showed his view of the world revealed his prowess as a painter and writer. In Suffering and Sunset, Celeste-Marie Bernier painstakingly traces Pippin’s life story of art as a life story of war.
Ms. Bernier is Professor of African American Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK, and an Associate Fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University. She is the author of numerous books including African American Visual Arts from Slavery to the Present. Admission is free.
Presented by Telfair's Friends of African American Arts with funding from the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation. Co-Sponsored by the Savannah College of Art and Design and Telfair Academy Guild.

Talent and Beauty: A 19th Century African American Story
Saturday, October 22, 2pm / Jepson Center
This program explores the story of an enslaved African American woman named Annie Crawford (1832–1902) and her daughter Elizabeth (1872–1948), who established herself as a successful dressmaker serving both black and white clientele.
Kathleen Curtis Wilson—Fellow, The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities—will discuss Elizabeth’s journey from a slave cabin she shared with 10 family members to a two-story home of her own and a thriving business. Perlista Henry, great-granddaughter of the dressmaker, will present two quilts, one silk and one cotton, that were pieced by Elizabeth and remain in her family. Late 19th-century textiles with African American provenance are rare, and examples that remain in the family of origin even more exceptional.

Museum members free / non-members $5