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THE MIDDLE PASSAGE - AFRICAN HOLOCAUST BROOCH

Phyllis Bowdwin1993/1996

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
New York, United States

The Middle Passage - African Holocaust Brooch, 1993–96
Designed by Phyllis Bowdwin (American, b. 1941), USA
Silver; Overall: 10.1 x 5.5 x 1 cm (4 x 2 3/16 x 3/8 in.); 1997-3-2
Museum purchase from Monet Jewelry Fund.

This is brooch is part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts Department. Its manufacturer is Who Deserves it More Than You?


Born in the Bronx, New York, Phyllis Bowdwin is an activist, writer, mixed-media artist, and designer. The brooch depicts in diagrammatic form the hull of a slave ship and the arrangement of its tightly packed human cargo during the Middle Passage, the slaves' horrific voyage from Africa to the colonies. The facial images of five slaves hang from metal nooses. The pin commemorates 400 years of slavery and the deaths of millions of Africans in the slave trade. This image of the slave ship was first seen in "The Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament," a book by Thomas Clarkson that was published in 1808.

Details

  • Title: THE MIDDLE PASSAGE - AFRICAN HOLOCAUST BROOCH
  • Creator: Phyllis Bowdwin
  • Date Created: 1993/1996

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