Vivien Green Fryd, professor of history of art, participated in a colloquium on The Greek Slave by Hiram Powers held on October 10-11 at the Yale Center of British Art in conjunction with the Sculpture Victorious exhibition. Fryd’s presentation entitled “The Greek Slave and Slavery: A Historiography” was part of a session on “The Greek Slave: Reception and Historiography.”
In 1982 Fryd wrote the first article to examine this statue, which was the subject of the two-day colloquium by invitation only. Her article, “Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave: Emblem of Freedom,” was published in The American Art Journal 14 (Autumn, 1982).
The colloquium and the exhibit offered “a unique opportunity to reconsider this iconic American work in the context of Victorian Britain, where it became a contested symbol in debates about slavery and abolition,” wrote Betsy Kim, Yale University. “A generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art has supported the loan of Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave (1847) from the Newark Museum. Although made by an American artist, the work was first shown in London at the Great Exhibition of 1851, where it became one of the most talked about and controversial sculptures of the age.”
*Hiram Powers, The Greek Slave, 1847, marble