Africans brought the staff form with spiral decoration with them when they came, enslaved, to America. This staff looks much like a European or American example, but is a combination of a traditional form with African spiral narrative.
Made in the African American community after the Civil War, the design expresses the concerns of its time. At the bottom, Africans are brought in chains to America; above, Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation and the chains are sundered as Liberty leads the way under the American eagle. Thus, an object carries with it the memory of the many objects in the series that came before it.
35 x 4 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (88.9 x 11.4 x 3.8cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Marie Bernice Bitzer Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
American. Cane, 1865-1900. Wood, metal, 35 x 4 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (88.9 x 11.4 x 3.8cm). Brooklyn Museum, Marie Bernice Bitzer Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 1996.179. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.179_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1996.179_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Wooden walking cane or staff, commemorative of the Emancipation Proclamation. Narrow cylindrical form tapers toward bottom; handle grip is a carved eagle holding an olive branch; upper half of cane is carved with relief decorations; lower portion is smooth with tip sheathed in metal. Carved decorations around upper portion consist of four bands which tell the story of slavery and emancipation, from bottom to top: invaders with crosses enslave Africans; slave ship traveling to America; allegorical female figure of Liberty with sword (symbolizing the Civil War) and an eagle holding banner inscribed "Liberty"; Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation and a slave freed from a whipping post holding a banner that reads, "Be it known that all men shall be free!"
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.