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2020 Citizenship Art Gallery

Join us for Opening Night

Friday, October 2, 2020
Harrison Center for the Arts

Some Books Make Us Free

This October, we are building on the success of the Harrison’s first rare books exhibit that took place July 2019. In light of recent events, the theme of this year’s exhibit will focus on an essential aspect of citizenship in a democracy: political dissent. Over the last few months we have seen tens of thousands of people across the country exercising their right to criticize what they see as the weaknesses of our country and demand change. We have seen this through peaceful assembly, petition and protest. Many do this because they love America and want to see it do better. In October, we will use art to bring life to ideas around the mechanics and philosophy of our system of government. We are pairing protestor art with rare books to show how the ethos of the protests and political dissent are manifestations of classical democratic ideas. This includes art that recognizes achievements and learning from mistakes to the end of better living up to our founding ideals. 

Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to interact with the following rare books from the Remnant Trust

  • A Treatise on Government

    Aristotle | 1778

  • The Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest

    William Blackstone | 1759

  • A Litany of Atlanta

    W.E.B. Du Bois | 1906

  • A Dictionary of the English Language

    Samuel Johnson | 1792

  • Communist Manifesto

    Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels | 1848

  • The Travels of Marco Polo

    Marco Polo | 1627

  • The Social Contract

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau | 1762

  • Address to the Legislature of New York

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton | 1854

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe | 1852

  • A Yankee in Canada with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers

    Henry David Thoreau | 1866

  • Letters Concerning the English Nation

    Voltaire | 1733

The Remnant Trust Collection

Take a closer look at some of the Remnant Trust books included in this year’s gallery. Click on the images below to learn more about the authors and the texts.

CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON

Immanuel Kant | 1848

On the one hand he opposed Hume’s skepticism, the idea that pure reason is of no real use in understanding the world, and on the other, he challenged Enlightenment faith in the unlimited scope of reason.  The basic formulation of what is called his critical philosophy is contained in the Critique of Pure Reason, the Critique of Practical Reason, and the Critique of Judgment.  His ideas were used by Schiller as the basis for aesthetic theories and marked the beginning of German idealistic philosophy, which was developed by Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.”

“Critique of Pure Reason, the philosophical work by Kant in which he maintained that all sense experience must be inherently rational and therefore that rational knowledge about experience is possible.  However, although reason can understand a thing considered as an object of experience, reason cannot understand the “thing in itself”.”

PLATO, HIS APOLOGY OF SOCRATES

PLATO | 1675

Plato, A Greek philosopher and prose writer. Born at Athens of a noble family, Plato aspired to political activity. Dismayed at the inequities of the Athenian tyranny, and later at the execution of his teacher Socrates under the democracy, he turned towards philosophy in search of an alternative to the unstable and unjust public life of the time. He also sought unity behind the changing impressions of the visible universe. All Plato's writing, except for The Apology and the Letters, is in dialogue form.

The Apology records Socrates' defense at his trial. These dialogues are philosophically inconclusive, but are considered best to represent the historical Socrates.

DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

Alexis de Tocqueville | 1841

Second Edition of Part I, in two volumes with original foldout map. Published in two parts, the first published in 1835 and the second volume published in 1840. “Democracy in America” was a result of Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont’s 1831-1832 tour of the United States, commissioned by the French Government to study the American prison system. The first part is an examination of American social and political institutions and practices. The second part demonstrated that democracy could be the foundation of a stable political system. Upon its publication, it was immediately popular in both Europe and the United States.

The work is often acclaimed for making several predictions which include the anticipation of potential hostility over the abolition of slavery, leading to the American Civil War, as well as the rivalry between the United States and Russia, which produced the Cold War. “Democracy in America” has become a classic work in political science, social science, and history.