Henry Wiencek, author of Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves, will talk about Judy Watson’s ‘experimental beds’ at the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library on Monday, February 18 at 5:30 pm. Wiencek’s talk, titled “Seeing Jefferson from Australia,” examines Watson’s perspective of Jefferson as a slave holder.
Watson incorporated Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the Academical Village and her own work inspired by visits to Monticello into experimental beds, a series of six prints developed during her residency at the University of Virginia in 2011. In reserching Jefferson, Watson was inspired by stories about slaves that paralleled her own family history in Australia, where her Aboriginal grandmother and great grandmother worked for white pastoralists.
An exhibition of experimental beds, on loan from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, can be seen in the South Gallery of the Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture through May 11, 2013. Both the University of Virginia Magazine and U.Va Today have featured the exhibition in recent issues.
Master of the Mountain was named as one of the best books of 2012 by Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley. Another of Wiencek’s books, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White (2000), won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
The free lecture is open to the public and will be followed by refreshments and a book signing in the South Gallery.