Monumental Sculptures by Fern Cunningham and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller Combined Forces in Harriet Tubman Square

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller created Emancipation as a plaster version in 1913 for Commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than eighty years later (1999), it was cast in bronze for Harriet Tubman Square in Boston’s South End.

With attentive study of Fuller’s Emancipation, Fern Cunningham created Step on Board for Harriet Tubman Square in 1999.

In recent years I had walked among these two monumental bronze sculptures without appreciating how and when they had come together. Now I can eagerly offer the links below for their significant stories that should be savored by you, instead of summarized by me.

KEY RESOURCES about both monuments in Harriet Tubman Square

Fern Cunningham artist website, interview with questions about Step on Board for Harriet Tubman Square: 5b,6a, 6b

Fern Cunningham artist website, images of monumental sculpture

Boston Women’s Heritage Trail Walks: South End, Number 6. Harriet Tubman Square Statues

The Emancipation Trail overview

The Emancipation Trail: dramatic photos and compelling stories about Emancipation and Step on Board (Most comprehensive and essential!!)

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller 

 Meta Fuller Collection at Danforth Art Museum

” Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) is known for her groundbreaking depictions of the African and African-American experience. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, she created intimate portraits of friends and family and self-portraits that elevated the African-American visage to an artistic subject equally worthy of depiction.”  ( quote from Meta Fuller Collection)

“This woman never sat down, she never did! Unless she had fallen asleep from her narcolepsy. “So,” I said “she’s got to be standing and she’s got to be in motion and she has to have the people with her because that’s what she was all about: The people, and moving them from one place to another.” (quote from Fern Cunningham about representing Harriet Tubman)


One comment

  1. […] Fuller’s half figure is on display through May 3rd in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Originally modeled in 1913 for the Emancipation Exposition in New York City, this woman with her somber gaze is part of a group of three life size figures and a tree. The plaster version of this large group, titled “Emancipation Proclamation” was stored in a garage after Fuller’s death. Against all odds, the work survived and was finally restored and cast in bronze in 1999, when the entire monument was dedicated in Harriet Tubman Square in Boston’s South End. […]

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