Community Organizations Coming Together to Honor Frederick Douglass

Image from On view at MAG from March 3–May 12, 2019.

The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (MAG), the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration Committee, and St. John Fisher College announced today a joint partnership to help honor the life and legacy of the visionary African American Frederick Douglass, whose 25 years in Rochester resulted in some of the abolitionist and freed slave’s most important work.

artist Olivia Kim and Carvin Eison, the producer of the Fredrick Douglass monuments in Rochester.

In recognition of his accomplishments and ongoing inspiration, MAG will display a monument of Douglass as part of Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass, a public art project, exhibition, and community-wide reflection commemorating the 200th anniversary of Douglass’ birth and his extraordinary work on behalf of human rights and social justice.

The Douglass monument, created by artist Olivia Kim, will be displayed at MAG simultaneously with the exhibition Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass, inspired by episodes in the life of Douglass. Both the monument and the Isaac Julien exhibition Lessons of the Hour which is a meditation on the life, words, and actions of Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the visionary African American abolitionist and freed slave, and on the issues of social justice that shaped his life’s work with more poem than story, ten video projections provide visitors with a special opportunity to be immersed in the spirit of this monumental historical figure.

shown: Isaac Julien, Lessons of the Hour,2019. Courtesy the Artist, Metro Pictures New York, and Victoria Miro London/Venice

Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass is a collaboration between its lead partners, Rochester Community Media Center and Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and is realized in cooperation with the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, as well as with a wide range of other community members and organizations. Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass is organized under the auspices of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration Committee. This monument is sponsored by MAG and St. John Fisher College.

Both The Monument and the Issac Julien Exhibition will be on view at MAG from March 3–May 12, 2019.