The “American Pictures” series at the Smithsonian continued with its fourth and final installment when memoirist, novelist, and musician James McBride explored a dynamic 1969 photograph of soul music legend James Brown performing at the Shrine Auditorium. The photograph that McBride chose to speak about, “Singer James Brown During a Performance at the Shrine” (1969) memorialized the legendary performer at the height of his career, bringing funk music to an audience eager to embrace the new sound.
In an illustrated talk, historian Peter H. Wood used Winslow Homer’s 1866 painting, Near Andersonville—one of the artist’s most striking, yet least-known works – to discuss the tumultuous final two years of the American Civil War.An emeritus Professor of History at Duke University, Wood was in residence at Washington College from April 23-30 as the Starr Center’s 2011 Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow. He is the author/editor of six books, including Black Majority (Knopf, 1974), which set the stage for a new generation of scholarship on American slavery.
Acclaimed historian Richard Beeman, Senior Fellow of the C.V Starr Center and the Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture, and winner of the 2010 George Washington Book Prize, continued his lecture series entitled “Inventing a Nation” with his talk exploring the creation of the Bill of Rights.