Oberlin College and Conservatory

Fighting with Fruit: Resisting Slavery and Racism in Still-Life Painting

Thursday, February 4 at 3:00pm to 4:15pm

Virtual Event

Shana Klein, assistant professor of art history at Kent State University, presents a talk titled “Fighting with Fruit: Resisting Slavery and Racism in Still-Life Painting.” The program relates to the installation, How can Museum Labels be Antiracist, which was organized by Assistant Curator of European and American Art Alexandra Letvin.

Although still-life paintings brimming with fruit presented an optimistic portrait of the nation after the American Civil War, pictures of food were not always so pleasant or neutral. Klein's talk investigates food in American art before and after the civil war to understand how artists—specifically African American artists—used food in art to combat racism and resist the institution of slavery. She will discuss works from the Allen's collection including Still Life with Fruit by Severin Roesen and Still Life by Jan Davidsz de Heem.

Following the presentation, Letvin will moderate an audience Q&A.

Please register in advance for this free webinar.

Event Type

Info Sessions/Presentations/Webinars, Virtual Events


Administrative, Allen Memorial Art Museum



Contact Person

Jill Greenwood

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