Barbara Paca, guest curator of the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College’s exhibition “Ruth Starr Rose (1887-1965): Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World,” will lecture on “Labor of Love: Ruth Starr Rose and the Miracle of Her Shared Community.” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held on February 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Conversation Room, across from the gallery. For more information: www.sjc.edu/mitchellgallery or 410-626-2556.
As an art historian, Barbara Paca’s credentials are numerous, including a Ph.D. from Princeton University, a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Ireland, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. As a creative designer, Paca holds a five-year professional degree in landscape architecture and owns a flourishing private practice in Manhattan. Recognized for artistically merging the academic with the natural world, Paca’s designs can be found on some of the world’s most exquisite properties. It is in these environments that she has encountered the work and fascinating, unlikely stories of artists fueled by philosophies well ahead of their time.
This first comprehensive exhibition of artist Ruth Starr Rose, on view through February 26, offers a rare glimpse into African American life at the turn of the century on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Many of the subjects are descendants of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Ross Tubman. From the area’s most noted black sail maker, to professional female crab pickers, to heroic soldiers, the portraits speak of self-possessed people who were proud of their station in life. Rose’s subjects are portrayed with a dignity and compassion that is rarely seen during this period of art history.