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Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV001
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Erin L. Thompson (Photo: Stas Ginzburg)

A timely and fractious national debate over public monuments has erupted in America. Some people risk imprisonment to tear down long-ignored hunks of marble; others form armed patrols to defend them. Why do we care so much about statues? And who gets to decide which ones should stay up and which should come down?

Join author Erin L. Thompson as she traces the turbulent history of American monuments and its ironies—starting with the enslaved Black man who helped make the statue of Freedom that still sits atop the U.S. Capitol—and explores the surprising motivations behind such contemporary flashpoints as the toppling of a statue of Columbus at the Minnesota State Capitol in 2020.

Thompson, a professor of art crime at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is a leading expert in the aesthetic, legal, political, and social issues involved in such battles.

Her new book Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments (W. W. Norton & Company) is available for purchase.

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