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The Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House historic site presents Makers In The Mansion: A Transformed African American Community at Woodlawn through the Artisan Eye, an installation in our museum areas from June - October, 2018.

Check out some photos from our opening reception event!

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Woodlawn has recently embarked on an interpretation that tells the stories of all of our owners, who, throughout its history, and often through creative pursuit, expressed their views on social matters important to their time. Now, through six installations of work and a writing project by local African American artisans, we open the first door to a longer journey to broaden our interpretation of the largely unknown histories of the people who didn’t own the mansion house or property, but had a huge impact on it nevertheless.  

The maker movement and the creation of handmade goods is growing in our current era, possibly as an antidote to lives bursting with new technologies and fast response. We chose to use that restored interest as a vehicle to amplify the voice of our African American community at Woodlawn who were transformed from enslaved to free between the period 1846- 1860. This is the time when Quaker families came to Woodlawn from the North, encouraged by the economic success and progressive stance of other nearby communities, such as Gum Springs, which were sprouting up as neighborhoods of farmers, freed enslaved people and immigrant workers, all working together.  

Creative response is often shaped by the way that an artisan/maker/designer sees and feels their immediate environment, and that response might also be shaped by outside influences such as politics and issues of equality, affordability and fairness. Making something is uniquely transformative, whether born out of necessity or pleasure, and these very talented and innovative artisans have been chosen to exhibit in our mansion and highlight our own transformative story here from plantation to free community. 

Exhibit curated by Amanda Phillips, Director, Site Interpretation & Partnerships, Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House. 

This project is funded by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with support from The JPB Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  

The Action Fund is a new initiative from the National Trust that elevates the remarkable stories of African American activism and achievement and tells our nation’s full history.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, based in Washington DC, which protects significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support.   Woodlawn Mansion became the very first site of the National Trust’s Historic Sites Program in 1954.

The mission of The JPB Foundation is to advance opportunity in the United States through transformational initiatives that empower those living in poverty, enrich and sustain our environment and enable pioneering medical research.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Arts Program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit ddcf.org.                                                                                                                    

 

Exhibit curated by Amanda Phillips, Director, Site Interpretation & Partnerships, Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House. 

This project is funded by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with support from The JPB Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  

The Action Fund is a new initiative from the National Trust that elevates the remarkable stories of African American activism and achievement and tells our nation’s full history.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, based in Washington DC, which protects significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support.   Woodlawn Mansion became the very first site of the National Trust’s Historic Sites Program in 1954.

The mission of The JPB Foundation is to advance opportunity in the United States through transformational initiatives that empower those living in poverty, enrich and sustain our environment and enable pioneering medical research.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Arts Program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit ddcf.org.