Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass Vase

Copied Roberto Lugo, Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass Vase, 2021, glazed ceramic with enamel paint, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in part through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, and the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art, 2022.5

Artwork Details

Title
Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass Vase
Artist
Date
2021
Dimensions
30 12 × 15 12 × 17 58 in. (77.5 × 39.4 × 44.8 cm) 
Credit Line
Museum purchase in part through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, and the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art
Mediums
Mediums Description
glazed ceramic with enamel paint
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male — Douglass, Frederick — bust
Object Number
2022.5

Artwork Description

“I put these stories on pottery because pottery lasts forever. It is how we know about cultures past, and I refuse to have our stories forgotten. We are here and demand to be seen as sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, and not dispensable beings.” —Roberto Lugo


This vase celebrates the contributions of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and his wife, Anna Murray Douglass. While Frederick Douglass’s life story is well known, Anna Murray more quietly supported her husband’s projects, their growing family, and local anti-slavery causes. When the family lived in Rochester, New York, Anna Murray opened the family home to freedom seekers as part of the Underground Railroad. The Douglass family later moved to Washington, DC, and in 1877 they purchased Cedar Hill, a home in the Anacostia neighborhood, where Anna Murray died in 1882.

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022