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VIRTUAL LECTURE: The Intemperate Watermelon: Racism and Excess in Still Lifes of Fruit

June 8 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

with Shana Reisig, Assistant Professor of Art History, Kent State University

$10 (members 10% discount)

Purchase tickets here

Watermelons were a rowdy fruit in American art; they were shown leaking juice, vomiting seeds, and sliding across tables in still-life representations. The fruit’s reputation as messy and hard to control no doubt influenced artistic representations as well as a cruel racist stereotype that developed around watermelon and African Americans in the 19th century. This presentation explores the visual and racial politics of watermelon to understand their complex depiction in American art.

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Image: William Wheeler (1832-1894), Still Life with Watermelon, 1865. Oil on canvas, Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company.
This exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of Connecticut Humanities, the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, The Aeroflex Foundation, Mr. Andy Baxter, Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Webster, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Moore, Wayne and Barbara Harms, Bouvier Insurance, Mr. & Mrs. Jeb Embree, as well as donors to the Museum’s Annual Fund.

Educational & Travel Program Refund Policy
No refunds for Broadway bus trips or Miss Florence’s Teas after transaction is complete. Refunds for programs over $20 are subject to a $20 cancellation fee. Refunds (less $20 fee) are offered for cancellations made prior to a program’s noted refund date. Programs without a refund date can be cancelled one hour prior to event. No refunds after program takes place. To request a refund or to transfer program fee into a donation, please email (Updated February 2022)


June 8
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Florence Griswold Museum
96 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, CT 06371 United States
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Florence Griswold
(860) 434-5542
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