In 1919 the sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller modeled the statuette Mary Turner: A Silent Protest against Mob Violence. One of the earliest three-dimensional works of art to address the subject of lynching, the sculpture was dedicated to the memory of Turner, a nineteen-year-old pregnant African American woman who had been seized and murdered by a white mob one year earlier. Fuller’s Turner bears no traces of torture and rises with her child from an abstracted heap of her attackers. This paper considers the inclusions and exclusions Fuller made in interpreting the memory of Turner’s lynching and the riot responsible for it. It seeks to understand the sculpture not only as a response to the lynching itself but also as an intervention in ways in which contemporary organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) communicated acts of racial violence to the greater public through expository text and imagery.
Research Article|May 01 2015
Meta Warrick Fuller’s Mary Turner and the Memory of Mob Violence
Nka (2015) 2015 (36): 16-27.