Although the Tubman Museum is a place of which Maconites should be extremely proud, two current offerings make the purchase of a membership more than worth the investment, so now is the perfect time to drop in for a visit.
One captivating exhibition is comprised of several items of historical significance from the museum’s permanent collection and the other is an impressive traveling exhibition by more contemporary artists.
“From the Minds of African Americans” is a partial display of the Tubman’s collection of patented inventions or patents for improvements to inventions. This includes many household items such as the ice cream scoop, lawn mower, refrigerator, ironing board, lunchbox and the first striking clock built completely in America.
Students of history are familiar with the names of many of these inventors, including:
Benjamin Banneker, technical assistant to the team that completed the first survey of the city now known as Washington, D.C.;
George Washington Carver, developer of hundreds of products made from peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans and soybeans, and recipient of a Roosevelt Medal for revolutionizing Southern agriculture; and
Lewis Latimer, inventor of an electric lamp and only black member of Thomas Edison’s Electric Light Company.
The National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, an organization of more than 60 visual artists who serve as mentors to HBCU art students, and the Fort Valley State University Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Media Studies have joined forces to produce an exhibition entitled “Afrofuturism Rising: Black Art Across the Spectrum” (on display at the Tubman through Dec. 19).
At the center of this exhibition of paintings and mixed media items are pieces by internationally-acclaimed sculptor Fred Ajanogha. They include a bronze called “Rosa Parks,” who’s sitting on that bus bench, and two large-scale fiberglass sculptures of Harriet Tubman: one is the thought-provoking “Harriet with the Gun and Bible” and the other is an incredible life-sized execution of the famous H.B. Lindsley photograph “Portrait of Harriet Tubman” that was taken in 1880.
CALLING ALL ARTISANS
Tubman Museum staffers Ivy and Pam mentioned that although they have one of the finest museum stores in the region, the Tubman also is currently organizing its first annual holiday artists market, to be held Dec. 11-12. This, they said, “makes the Tubman Museum a great place to pick up those unique gifts.”