What do you think is going on in this painting? Who are the people in this scene and what do you think they are doing?
This genre painting (scene of everyday life) represents the hierarchies of American society during the time period of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). Only white men with the ability to vote appear within the stage-like space of the porch. A woman listens from the hotel interior, while an African American man and child sit on the steps near the ground. The presence of African Americans signals the debate ongoing at the time about whether slavery would spread to the regions ceded to the US by Mexico.
How do the various people in this scene respond to the “news”? What is the relationship between identity and the way we respond to information?
How does media and mass communication shape our society? How do you verify news stories, images, and other sources of false information?
Exhibition sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin
Learning and engagement programming for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by:
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