Title

'The Whitman Legend’

Abstract

"The Whitman Legend" was painted by Danish artist Kay Nielsen in the mid-20th century. Though the work was originally meant to hang in Penrose Library, it instead was installed outside the Office of the President in Memorial Hall. In 2007, the painting was taken down for restoration and moved to its current location in a classroom in Maxey West. Its glorified depiction of the missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman have made the painting a source of controversy. At the same time, the work continues to be an important historiographical artifact for a modern understanding of the Whitmans and their history. My presentation examines each part of the painting. I discuss the history that the painting intends to represent as well as how honorific depictions like this affected the way the Whitmans were remembered throughout the 20th century.

Faculty Sponsor

Nina Lerman

Tracks

Art Theory and Critique

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Olin 129

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 9:00 AM Apr 11th, 9:15 AM

'The Whitman Legend’

Olin 129

"The Whitman Legend" was painted by Danish artist Kay Nielsen in the mid-20th century. Though the work was originally meant to hang in Penrose Library, it instead was installed outside the Office of the President in Memorial Hall. In 2007, the painting was taken down for restoration and moved to its current location in a classroom in Maxey West. Its glorified depiction of the missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman have made the painting a source of controversy. At the same time, the work continues to be an important historiographical artifact for a modern understanding of the Whitmans and their history. My presentation examines each part of the painting. I discuss the history that the painting intends to represent as well as how honorific depictions like this affected the way the Whitmans were remembered throughout the 20th century.

Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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