UW-Madison News has posted a very interesting story about John Steuart Curry’s mural “The Freeing of the Slaves” which is housed in the UW Law Law Library.
From the article:
“The Freeing of the Slaves” adorns the north Reading Room wall of the UW Law Library on Bascom Hill. The central figure — a black man with arms upheld — is almost 11 feet tall. At his feet lie two soldiers: one Confederate, one Union. Recently-freed slaves crowd around, while in the background the Union army marches off victorious, in perfect formation.
“It’s tempting to read this as the classic story of how the Union Army freed the slaves, and the dead soldiers as the cost of that freedom,” says history professor Steve Kantrowitz. “But at the center of this mural are the slaves themselves, who have essentially set in motion their own liberation.”