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THE STIRLING SMITH ART GALLERY & MUSEUM
Study of Mountains (detail), oil & pencil on paper by Smith, Thomas Stuart, 1813–1869, photo credit: The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum
The Pipe of Freedom is one of the most significant works by Victorian painter Thomas Stuart Smith. At the time, it was rare to see depictions of people of colour other than as servants. It shows a former slave in the southern United States but portrays him as independent and free.
The posters in the background suggest that it is more than just a figure study. The Emancipation Proclamation has been pasted over a yellow placard announcing a sale of slaves. In the proclamation of 1862/1863, American President Abraham Lincoln declared that the Union would ensure that ‘all persons held as slaves within any state... shall be then, thenceforward and forever free.’ The painting, therefore, celebrates the end of the conflict and the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Smith was radical in his outlook and attitudes. His choice of sitter and subject may have been unusual, but they give us a hint that the world of the 1860s was more diverse than is generally portrayed in the art of the time.
The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum, founded in 1874 with the bequest and collection of the artist Thomas Stuart Smith (1815–1869) on land provided by the burgh of Stirling, still operates under the modified trust deed of its founder.
Print or framed artworks from The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum.
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Photo credit: The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum
A Beech Wood
Brown, William Beattie, 1831–1909
A Bit of Cheese
Ronner, Henriette, 1821–1909
A Boat on the Water
Smith, Thomas Stuart, 1813–1869
A Boat on the Water at Sunset
A Brittany Chorister
Chalmers, George Paul, 1833–1878
A Coast Scene
Harding, James Duffield, 1798–1863
Bonington, Richard Parkes, 1802–1828
A Coast Study
A Cottage Interior
A Cuban Cigarette
A Derbyshire Brook
A Distant View of Stirling and Stirling Castle
Smith, John 'Warwick', 1749–1831
A Door in Venice
A Fellah of Kinneh
A Fruit Piece
A Gentleman in Court Dress
Pettie, John, 1839–1893
A Group of Three Women
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The Pipe of Freedom
Central Scotland Fife