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*DIGITAL* The Complicated Histories of Monuments
As monuments come down across the US, some decry that history is being erased. But what (and whose) history do monuments contain? Using several American and European monuments as examples, UVM Art History professor Kelley Di Dio explores why, when, and by whom these monuments were made, and considers what should be done with them.
As Black Lives Matter protestors toppled or defaced Confederate monuments, and governments at the local level began taking more seriously the idea of their removal, immediately, there were cries of “erasing history,” or “dishonoring truly honorable men,” or that these men, despite their flaws, were just “men of their times,” and should still be celebrated for their achievements. But do monuments truly contain history, and their destruction cause history’s erasure? Why are monuments erected? What is their function? Why are they placed on public lands? Who is their audience? Is their placement or the values assigned to them unchangeable?
Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio is Associate Dean and Professor of Art History at UVM. She has published four books and dozens of articles and essays, and has lectured at universities and museums across Europe, the US, and Canada, including the National Gallery of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Prado, and won UVM’s Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching.Register for this free talk