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Stories in stone: Investigating the stories behind the sculptural commemoration of the Confederacy

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This article explores the time in which the large Robert E. Lee monument was planned and built in Richmond, Virginia. Drawing on archives, the story of this monument relates to remembering this man in ways that build and perpetuate the stories of the Lost Cause movement. This article also explores how competing interests in the local community tried to sway the movement to commemorate him in ways that favoured their various interests. The issue of who owns the past and how it is represented in the present in artistic forms continues to be an issue in Richmond and throughout the world. Because people in communities learn from their environment, it is important for art educators to consider the history of their geographic locations and to think about how this history is a form of education.
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Keywords: Civil War; Lost Cause; Robert E. Lee; art education; monuments; public art

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Virginia Commonwealth University

Publication date: 2013-09-01

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  • The scope of the journal is broad and is aimed at facilitating a wide spectrum of perspectives. It is essentially a medium for engaging the rich and multifaceted process of learning and teaching art that takes place in the classroom, studio, and beyond. However, the seriousness of journal is not out weighed by making critical topics accessible and readable to a large constituency of readers. It is a forum to be reflective on the process of creating and teaching art, embrace teaching art in a variety of contexts, engage art appreciation experiences, share scholarship in teaching artistry, and celebrate the rich traditions of art making and teaching.
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