Our journey continues. February 5th on to the Tubman Museum on Cherry Street. The museum is a lovely building and the staff was excellent. The Tubman Museum is the largest museum in the nation dedicated to educating people about the Art, History and Culture of African Americans. There were several exhibits of artists and inventions. We covered the museum in about 4 hours. The first floor had an array of textile art by Winnie McQueen. The pieces were outstanding and each panel told a story. The following are examples of her work.
Artifacts from Jim Crow were also on the first floor. Some of these images gave me visceral feelings as I do remember this time even though I was a small child. I thought, “This isn’t right.” One memory I have is as a child of around 6 years old. We were “pickin’ cotten” and granddaddy had hired our local crew. They brought along a little girl about my age and we hit it off immediately. We decided that I would teach her to ride my bike. A neighbor stopped by and talked to my dad. Shortly after I received a switching and was told I was never to play with the girl again. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand it now. It made a lasting impression. Following pictures are some of those artifacts.
Other artifacts from the first floor:
The second floor had several eclectic art exhibits and a tribute to Harriet Tubman. I was really moved by the work of Steve R Allen. Beautiful, bold, work. He never received formal training but has an amazing gift. Examples of his work follows:
A random sampling of art work follows:
Little Richard’s piano. The plaque says, “Do not play Little Richard’s piano. He will KNOW!” Loved that.
The poster has amazing symbolism of the open hands and the bird flying bird. Representing freedom!
When we finished the museum we went down to the gift shop. We were told that the artist Steve R Allen had arrived and was up in his exhibit. We promptly went up and met a most talented man. We engaged in a lengthy discussion of his works, his childhood in Raleigh, NC and also met his brother who was just beginning to paint at 66 years of age. What a bonus to our day. Lovely!
I highly recommend making a journey to visit this museum. It’s well worth it. Entry is just $8/person. Go!