<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PWMWG4" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">
Art Diary

Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour

17 May 2024

After escaping from slavery in 1838, Frederick Douglass became one of the key voices in the early American civil rights movement. An outspoken abolitionist with a notable gift for writing and public speaking, his words on social reform spread across the world and brought him great attention: Douglass was the most photographed man of his day. In a 10-screen film installation titled Lessons of the Hour (2019), recently acquired by MoMA, Isaac Julien considers Douglass’s fame (and notoriety) and his personal and public lives – through period re-enactments and excerpts from his speeches, writings and correspondence. The exhibition also features a number of other objects relating to Douglass, including pamphlets of his speeches and first edition copies of his memoirs (19 May to 28 September).

Find out more from MoMA’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary

Pamphlet of Frederick Douglass’s Lessons of the Hour speech. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Installation view of Lessons of the Hour (2019) by Isaac Julien at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2024. © 2024 Isaac Julien

Portrait of Frederick Douglass Taken During The Civil War (1864), Samuel Montague Fasset. Museum of Modern Art, New York