My friend Louise North sent me a note in regard to the last post on Titus Kaphar’s painting of George Washington, specifically the title of the painting “Absconded.” She reported: “Finally got a chance to look the word (absconded) up in my OED:

1. transitive——to hide away; to conceal (anything).
2. reflexive archaic——”Before Saturn did abscond himself from the beams of the Sun.”
3. intransitive——to hide oneself; to retire from the public view: generally used of persons in debt, or criminals eluding the law.

The first meaning makes perfect sense in the Washington portrait: the figure is absolutely silent and conceals his ownership of slaves. Yet their names hang from his mouth. Powerful image.”

I agree.

Here is another painting by Titus Kaphar, this time of Andrew Jackson with the lower part of his face similarly obscured by streamers representing his slaves. This is the man whom Donald Trump admires, who, he says, could have prevented the Civil War!! Jackson, by the way, died 16 years before that conflict.

posted May 12th, 2017 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Jackson, Andrew, Kaphar, Titus, Washington, George

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