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Older African American woman seated, holding open book

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This photograph of an African American woman with an open book was taken in Berea, Kentucky--home to Berea College and the Doris Ulmann Galleries. Doris Ulmann’s portraits of Appalachian people were close to her heart, having spent much of her later life in Appalachia. Doris Ulmann was a woman who valued people of all backgrounds, a [...]

The Crucifixion with Saint Jerome, Donor and His Family

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Inspired by his letter to a disciple describing his joy in solitary penance, representations of St. Jerome beating his bare breast with a stone became popular in fifteenth-century Tuscany. These images, usually showing St. Jerome kneeling before a crucifix and accompanied by a lion, were especially popular in the last quarter of the century. Images [...]

Toran

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Toran is the Sanskrit name of a sacred or honorific gateway. Torans are used both personally, in homes, and sacredly in Buddhist and Hindu architecture. Its typical form is not fabric, as is shown here, but a wood or stone. Especially in Temple entrance ways, torans are sculptural post and lintel systems.This fabric toran was more [...]

Ibeji

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In Nigeria, the Yoruba peoples see twins as possessing magical qualities. Twins are believed to be descendants of Shango, the thunder god, and are therefore known as Thunder Children. In the native tongue of the Yoruba peoples twins are known as Ibejis. If a twin dies a figure is created to house the spirit and [...]

Mountain Landscape, Highlands, North Carolina

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Henry Ossawa Tanner, born in Pennsylvania, is known for being the first African-American painter to gain international fame. He spent a great deal of time teaching himself to paint as a young man, using art as a therapy when he was ill. In 1879 he was accepted into the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as [...]

The Cliff Dwellers

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Thomas Moran’s 1899 oil painting captures a brilliant Western landscape, including a Native American cliff village. Originally referred to as the Grand Canyon, the piece was considered to be a glimpse into the uncharted West; later research placed the scene in Mesa Verde, CO, presumably depicting Anasazi dwellings. The Cliff Dwellers was one of many [...]