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Raise Up

Response from Vada Hill and Kathryne Gardette

Video 1 Transcript | Video 2 Transcript


Vada Hill is a trustee of the Cincinnati Art Museum and has collected African-American art for over 20 years.  A native Cincinnatian and OTR resident, Vada is a graduate of Walnut Hills High School and Harvard University.  A former Chief Marketing Officer of Taco Bell; Fannie Mae; and Jackson Hewitt, Vada is also a board member of CincyTech; the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Apex Service Partners (a home services platform of Alpine Investors).  Named after Cincinnati Reds' outfielder, Vada Pinson, he is a Reds team owner.

Kathryne Gardette bio coming soon.

Label text, Cincinnati Art Museum

In a 1960s photograph by Ernest Cole, a Black freelance photographer working in apartheid-era South Africa, thirteen naked Black men stand facing a wall with their arms raised above their heads. They are submitting to a dehumanizing group medical exam as a condition of employment in a South African mine. Thomas isolates their heads and arms, omitting their naked torsos.  What does the men’s gesture suggest to you in the new form Thomas has given it?  How would the meaning of the men’s raised arms change if you could see the sculpture from the front, as Thomas made possible when he installed Raise Up in the round at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama?  

Note: Label texts originated at the Portland Art Museum and were modified by venue project teams at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Cincinnati Art Museum.