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Martin Robison Delany

Martin Robison Delany
Artist
Unidentified Artist
Copy after
Abraham Bogardus, 29 Nov 1822 - 22 Mar 1908
Publisher
John Smith, active 1860 - 1870
Sitter
Martin Robison Delany, 6 May 1812 - 25 Jan 1885
Date
c. 1865
Type
Print
Medium
Hand-colored lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Image: 52.2 x 43.8cm (20 9/16 x 17 1/4")
Mat: 76.2 x 61cm (30 x 24")
Topic
Costume\Headgear\Military
Weapon\Sword
Architecture\Building\Tent
Symbols & Motifs\Flag\National\United States
Exterior\Military Camp
Martin Robison Delany: Male
Martin Robison Delany: Literature\Writer
Martin Robison Delany: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer
Martin Robison Delany: Health and Medicine\Physician
Martin Robison Delany: Communications\Publisher\Newspaper
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.76.101
Exhibition Label
Born Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Convinced that African Americans would never be accepted on equal terms in the United States, the physician, newspaper editor, and antislavery activist Martin Delany moved to Canada in 1856 while pursuing plans to emigrate to West Africa. With the outbreak of the Civil War, however, Delany saw an opportunity to fight for equality and respect in the country of his birth.
Delany’s commission as a major in the Union army came too late for him to command troops on the battlefield, but this lithograph, based on the photograph displayed at left, advanced his goal of demonstrating the patriotism and competence of Black men. Here, his commanding figure dominates the foreground, framed by an American flag and an oak tree, symbol of strength and endurance. Behind him, a sentry stands at attention in a field of military tents. Popular prints such as this satisfied a growing demand for dignified images of Black leaders.
Nacido en Charles Town, Virginia (hoy Virginia Occidental)
Convencido de que los afroamericanos nunca serían aceptados como iguales en Estados Unidos, el médico, editor de prensa y antiesclavista Martin Delany se mudó a Canadá en 1856 mientras planeaba emigrar a África Occidental. Sin embargo, al estallar la Guerra Civil, Delany vio una oportunidad de luchar por la igualdad y el respeto en su país natal.
Su nombramiento como mayor del ejército de la Unión vino demasiado tarde para que pudiera comandar tropas en el campo de batalla, pero esta litografía, basada en la fotografía que se ve a la izquierda, adelantó su meta de demostrar el patriotismo y la aptitud de los hombres negros. Su figura imponente domina el primer plano, enmarcada por una bandera estadounidense y un roble, símbolo de fuerza y resistencia. Detrás se ve un Centinela en pose de atención en un campamento. Estampas populares como esta respondían a la creciente demanda de imágenes dignas de los líderes negros.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 111
Exhibition
Civil War Gallery Rehang
On View
NPG, East Gallery 111