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This fully illustrated catalog, published in 1991 to accompany
the Massachusetts Historical Society's 200th-anniversary exhibition
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, provides the reader with an
engaging view of the books, manuscripts, artwork, and historical
artifacts collected by the Society over two hundred years. Filled
with color plates, black-and-white illustrations, detailed item
descriptions, and entertaining anecdotal information, the catalog
brings many of the most vital events in American and Massachusetts
history to life through the examination of material artifacts. The
book includes more than 160 of the most historically significant
objects in the Society's collection--from paintings, prints, and
engravings to unusual objects such as tea collected from the Boston
Tea Party, a bureau whose drawers supposedly housed a witch during
the Salem witch trials, and photographs of soldiers from the
Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the most important African American
regiment raised in the North during the Civil War.
The colorful charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris
Exposition by famed sociologist and black rights activist W. E. B.
Du Bois offered a view into the lives of black Americans, conveying
a literal and figurative representation of "the color line." From
advances in education to the lingering effects of slavery, these
prophetic infographics-beautiful in design and powerful in content-
make visible a wide spectrum of black experience. W. E. B. Du
Bois's Data Portraits collects the complete set of graphics in full
color for the first time, making their insights and innovations
available to a contemporary imagination. As Maria Popova wrote,
these data portraits shaped how "Du Bois himself thought about
sociology, informing the ideas with which he set the world ablaze
three years later in The Souls of Black Folk."
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