Exhibition | Blood in the Sugar Bowl

Posted in exhibitions by Caitlin Smits on January 8, 2016

Opening in the spring at Stanford:

Blood in the Sugar Bowl
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, 6 April — 4 July 2016

Curated by Rachel Newman


Josiah Wedgwood, Covered Sugar Bowl, ca. 1785–95, stoneware (Cantor Arts Center Collection, 1989.154.a-b)

This exhibition focuses on sugar plantation slavery during the peak of the sugar trade, the late 18th to mid-19th century. On display are sugar bowls from the Cantor’s collection, Henry Corbould’s illustration Fashionable Women Pouring Tea, James Gillray’s caricature The Anti-Saccharites, several volumes from Stanford University Libraries Special Collections including James Hakewill’s beautiful plantation views from his 1821 Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica and William Blake’s depictions of slave torture in his 1777 Narrative, of a five years’ expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam. Personalizing the slave narrative are Benjamin M’Mahon’s Jamaica Plantership and other audio excerpts of texts written by slaves and sugar plantation employees. D. R. Wakefield’s 2004 series Resistance Is Useless: Portraits of Slaves from the British West Indies is also on display.

Student curator: Stanford PhD candidate and Mellon Curatorial Research Assistant Rachel Newman