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Author, Abolitionist and Painter?

August 1, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Join Dr. Shana Klein to learn how Stowe’s migration to Florida intersected with her artistic and activist endeavors.

About this event

In the years following the Civil War, Harriet Beecher Stowe painted a number of canvases of Florida oranges. One in particular resembles the view from Stowe’s home window in Mandarin, Florida, displaying a cluster of fruit cascading down a leafy tree. Stowe completed this painting after 1867, when she purchased an orange grove in Florida.

This decision to migrate to the South might seem strange given that Stowe was an ardent abolitionist, but purchasing southern land and transforming former plantations into orange groves was a method for many northerners to revitalize the devastated region and transform its political climate. Florida was in particular need of revitalization; the State was denigrated as a primitive swamp and cultural wasteland made worse by the Civil War.

For Stowe, the cultivation and painting of oranges represented the promise of a “New South” and a cultural awakening that would correct a political economy tarnished by slave systems. This presentation studies Stowe’s widely understudied painting practice to understand how her artistic interests merged with her political activism.


August 1, 2021
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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Harriet Beecher Stowe House
2950 Gilbert Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45212 United States
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