Thenceforward, and Forever Free
August 22 - December 22, 2012

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In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University presents the exhibition Thenceforward, and Forever Free from August 22-December 22, 2012. The exhibition features seven contemporary artists whose work deals with issues of race, gender, privilege, and identity, and more broadly conveys interpretations of the notion of freedom. Artists in Thenceforward are: Laylah Ali, Willie Birch, Michael Ray Charles, Gary Simmons, Elisabeth Subrin, Mark Wagner, and Kara Walker. The exhibition includes works in diverse media, from Wagner’s 17-foot-tall collage made from 1,121 dollar bills to Simmons’s site-specific chalk drawing installation to Subrin’s two-channel, HD video. Paintings by Charles and Birch, drawings by Ali, and prints by Walker are also featured. Essayists for the exhibition catalogue are Dr. A. Kristen Foster, associate professor, Department of History, Marquette University, and Ms. Kali Murray, assistant professor, Marquette University Law School.

Thenceforward, and Forever Free takes place as part of the Freedom Project, a yearlong exploration of the many meanings of freedom in the United States and in the world. The Project is Marquette University’s commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Two lectures sponsored by the history department will frame the commemoration. In September 2012, Steven Hahn of the University of Pennsylvania, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in History for A Nation Under our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration, will deliver the Klement Lecture on the meanings of emancipation. In April 2013, Rebecca J. Scott, Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan and an expert on emancipation in the Caribbean, will deliver the Casper Lecture. A number of other units on campus—including the Raynor Memorial Libraries and the Department of Performing Arts—have also planned events to coincide with the commemoration.

This exhibition and accompanying programs are sponsored in part by the Friends of the Haggerty, the Joan Pick Endowment Fund, the Marquette University Andrew W. Mellon Fund, a Marquette University Excellence in Diversity Grant, the Martha and Ray Smith, Jr. Endowment Fund, the Nelson Goodman Endowment Fund, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Download the exhibition catalog.

Programs for Thenceforward, and Forever Free


Curtis L. Carter Art and Social Change Lecture

Elisabeth SubrinRecreating Missing Histories

Eckstein Hall Appellate Courtroom

Reception to follow in the museum.

Free and open to the public.

All programs take place at the Haggerty unless otherwise noted.