Makers In The Mansion, African American Art Exhibit

If you are in the Washington, DC area and looking to explore, you should consider taking a trip to the  Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House historic site presents Makers In The Mansion: A Transformed African American Community at Woodlawn through the Artisan Eye, an installation in our museum areas from June – October, 2018. This African American Art Exhibit, Makers in the Mansion, is curated by Amanda Phillips, Director, Site Interpretation & Partnerships, Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House and the Project Writer is Cherryl T. Cooley.  This project is funded by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with support from The JPB Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

According to the site, “Woodlawn has recently embarked on an interpretation that tells the stories of all of our owners, who, throughout its history, and often through creative pursuit, expressed their views on social matters important to their time. Now, through six installations of work and a writing project by local African American artisans, we open the first door to a longer journey to broaden our interpretation of the largely unknown histories of the people who didn’t own the mansion house or property, but had a huge impact on it nevertheless. “

Image Credit: Jai Williams, Photography

Makers In The Mansion, African American Art Exhibit

The curator of the exhibit states “The maker movement and the creation of handmade goods is growing in our current era, possibly as an antidote to lives bursting with new technologies and fast response. We chose to use that restored interest as a vehicle to amplify the voice of our African American community at Woodlawn who were transformed from enslaved to free between the period 1846- 1860. ” Project Credit: Hadiya Williams
Project Credit: Antonio McAfee
Project Credit: Morgan Davis
According to Amanda Philipps, “Creative response is often shaped by the way that an artisan/maker/designer sees and feels their immediate environment, and that response might also be shaped by outside influences such as politics and issues of equality, affordability and fairness. Making something is uniquely transformative, whether born out of necessity or pleasure, and these very talented and innovative artisans have been chosen to exhibit in our mansion and highlight our own transformative story here from plantation to free community.” Project Credit: Nicole Crowder


Project Credit: Njena Surae Jarvis


Project Credit: Sandy Barrett Hassan







Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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