Ruth Starr Rose (1887-1965): Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World
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The Reginald F. Lewis Museum exhibits the first comprehensive show of artist Ruth Starr Rose (1887-1965) offering a rare glimpse into African American life at the turn of the century on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The subjects are depicted with a dignity and compassion that is remarkable during this period of art history. For this reason, the artwork also offers an important historical record of daily African American life on the Eastern Shore. Many of the African Americans portrayed are descendants of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Ross Tubman, the native sons and daughters of the historic Chesapeake region. From the Eastern Shore’s most noted black sail maker, to professional female crab pickers, to heroic soldiers, the portraits speak of self-possessed people who were proud of their station in life. The exhibition also includes visual depictions of military servicemen, and portraits of Native Americans and Haitians that Rose befriended on her travels.