Open VISIONS Forum: Espresso - Dr. Harriet Senie - Thursday, October 8 at 7:30 PM

Date: 10-08-2020

Time: 07:30 PM


Free virtual event; Tune in by visiting

Open VISIONS Forum: Espresso

Dr. Harriet Senie
Monumental Controversies: Mount Rushmore, Four Presidents, and the Quest for National Identity

In affiliation with the Fairfield University Art Museum

Memorials are complicated and Mount Rushmore is more complicated than most. What you see depends on your view of American history. Many people consider George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt as heroic champions of foundational American values and therefore emblematic of United States national identity. An increasing number, however, see a colossal monument built on sacred land belonging to the Lakota Sioux and disparage the four presidents for policies and practices now considered unacceptable or worse.

This talk considers what memorials mean today and seeks to develop an inclusive narrative of national identity that neither idolizes the four presidents on Mount Rushmore nor demonizes them.

More about Senie:

Harriet F. Senie, PhD (NYU, 1981) is Director of the M.A. Program in Art History and Art Museum Studies at City College, CUNY, and teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on public art, and is co-founder of the international organization Public Art Dialogue and co-editor of its journal, Public Art Dialogue. She was a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and the She Build New York Advisory Committee.

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