A Monument that Works for All

When Daniel Burnham, Cass Gilbert, Daniel Chester French, and their fellow commissioners chose Henry Bacon’s Greek temple design for the Lincoln Memorial in 1913, the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects, led by an associate a Frank Lloyd Wright, threw a fit.

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Controversy Over New Deal Art

Who gets to say what parts of the American narrative are acceptable and what parts are to be excised or erased? This is the heart of a heated conversation about the role of public art today.

The spotlight has been on New Deal muralists known for their radical views of history.

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Roger Williams’s America

The conflict over control within the first colonies—who could vote, who dictated one’s beliefs, who held authority over whom—was hard-fought, a prelude to the relentless skirmishes we endure today.

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Voices of Civil Rights

For a passionate and prolific response to racism in America we turn to two extraordinary artists from the 1960s: Nina Simone and James Baldwin. Simone sang about Mississippi lynchings and Baldwin wrote about the profound abuse that Blacks suffered in the South. The two friends supported each other in the fight for Civil Rights.

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Dialogue on the Mall

The Mall always was, and always will be, a semi-sacred space where Americans come together to meditate, mourn, and remember who we were, and are, as a people and a nation. However, a sizable minority of white Americans, most of whom would pass a lie detector test proving they are not racists, have never internalized the egalitarian assumptions of the Civil Rights Movement.

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