Dr. Rachel Stephens’ Publication Explores ‘Art Justifying Enslavement’

Auguste Edouart, “The Robert Young Family, of Natchez, Mississippi,” 1844, silhouette, 20 ¼ x 32 inches, Courtesy Historic New Orleans Collection.

Associate Professor Dr. Rachel Stephens‘ article, “Art Justifying Enslavement: The 1844 Silhouette of the Young Family of Natchez,” was published in March in Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, the journal of the Texas Gulf Historical Society and the Lamar University History Department. Stephens’ research discusses how this family portrait communicates “notions of enslavement, family, domesticity, and violence,” as well as, she writes, “how deeply implicated artwork was within the history and promotion of enslavement.” Stephens’ new book detailing more insights about antebellum art and images, Hidden in Plain Sight: Concealing Enslavement in American Visual Culture, will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in September.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in art history and studio art, visit our Degree Programs page.