Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Quaker art

Britain & the Slave trade: "Cultural Enrichment

"The profits from the slave plantations enriched Britain's art, architecture and literature. Thousands of slave traders sought to raise their social status by investing their money in the arts - buying works of art to adorn their houses or becoming patrons. The Theatre journal referred in 1720 to rich families of Merchants and Traders who in their furniture, equippage, Manner of Living... are so far from being below the Gentry that many deserve the Imitation of the modern Nobility."

Did the wealth that was gained on the backs of the oppressed lead to a Quaker aesthetic of simplicity by those who fought against slavery? Was Edward Hicks really painting about the abolition of slavery?


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