Kirsten Pai Buick on Depiction of Racial Conflict Between Whites and Native Americans at the U.S. Senate

Kirsten Pai Buick giving a talk at Georgia State University.
Kirsten Pai Buick giving a talk at Georgia State University.
Kirsten Pai Buick talk at Georgia State University.

In conjunction with our Art Writers Mentorship Program, art historian and University of New Mexico professor Kirsten Pai Buick gave a talk on April 19 at Georgia State University. In her talk, “Narrative Structure as Secular Judgment in Thomas Crawford’s Progress of Civilization,” Buick sheds light on the little-known racially charged subject of the pediment over the entrance to the Senate building by American sculptor Thomas Crawford. It depicts the theme of racial conflict between whites and Native Americans. Buick also examines the sculpture’s possible interpretations from 1778, when the first treaty between the U.S. government and indigenous sovereign nations was made, to 2016 and the uprisings by water protectors at Standing Rock.

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