A missing bust of Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was recovered with the help of Temple University art history professor Susanna Gold

Susanna Gold, assistant professor of art history at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, helped to track down the long lost bust of Richard Allen, abolitionist and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Originally on display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Fairmount Park the bust, which stands about two feet high, is believed to be the first work of public art completely conceived and sponsored by African Americans.

Gold was able to track down the work of art by following small mentions in the press over the years. She finally located the sculpture at Wilberforce University, where it has been on display since 1887.

“It’s rare,” Gold told the Philadelphia Inquirer.  “This is the first time the African American community sponsored and erected a public monument to an African American person that I’ve found in my research.”
Read more about this historic discovery here.

– Jazmyn Burton

Alan Braddock

Alan Braddock

Tyler art historian Alan Braddock, an assistant professor who teaches courses in American art and visual culture, is a cover boy. His new book, Thomas Eakins and the Cultures of Modernity (University of California Press), earned him a cover shot and an interview in ROROTOKO’s June 17 issue. According to the folks at UC Press, it’s “the first book to situate Philadelphia’s greatest realist painter in relation to the historical discourse of cultural difference.” Sometimes we forget that the anthropological concepts of “cultures” and “cultural diversity” are relatively new. Eakins (1844-1916) lived in a time of great global migrations, but “cultural diversity” was a construct that didn’t exist yet. “My book,” says Braddock, “is about a historic change that occurred a century ago in the way people view human differences, illustrated through the work and life of a major artist.”