Virtual Tour: Unspoken Voices Art Exhibit at the Dyckman Farmhouse

Unspoken Voices at the Dyckman FarmhouseUnspoken Voices at the Dyckman FarmhouseUnspoken Voices at the Dyckman FarmhouseDyckman Farmhouse exterior

Discover Unspoken Voices: Honoring the Legacy of Black America, a new public art project inside the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. This unique exhibit is made up of artwork inspired by data being uncovered right now about enslaved people of upper Manhattan and by an African burial ground located at the parking lot of P.S. 98. This research and exhibition together are part of the DyckmanDISCOVERED initiative of the museum. Insiders will get to see these artworks through a virtual walkthrough tour of the farmhouse led by Executive Director Meredith Sorin-Horsford!

Unspoken Voices brings life to the enslaved and free Black individuals who lived, worked and cultivated the Dyckman farmland, which covered 250 acres amid the once rural area of Upper Manhattan. The exhibition is inspired by the DyckmanDISCOVERED initiative, which has uncovered data surrounding these individuals, some of whom were previously unnamed. In response to these discoveries, Unspoken Voices includes the following collaborative and solo works:

  • “Assembly of Ciphers” by Rachel Sydlowski with Marquise Foster: In their first collaboration, Sydlowski and Foster transform the Dyckman family’s leisurely front parlor into a space honoring Upper Manhattan’s enslaved Black community. Ceremonial and mourning clothes with floral embroidered lace are presented by Foster. Printed flora and fauna screen prints, furniture and portraits by Sydlowski are overprinted with invisible, ultraviolet medium that can only be viewed with the aid of a backlight or UV-A lantern – symbolizing hidden, untold history that now rises to the surface.
  • “My Soul Sings of Freedom” by Gwendolyn Black with Wilma Ann Sealy: Visual artist Black and designer and seamstress Sealy capture the daily life, fashion and historically ignored humanity of Manhattan’s enslaved people through mixed media such as paint and fabric. “Like Leaves” by Broadway composer and pianist Emme Kemp and writer Milton Polsky plays in conjunction with Black and Sealy’s work to symbolize the mixed feelings of sadness and hope still felt among Black Americans today.
  • “Humanity VS Insanity” by Sheila Prevost: Prevost creates integrated textured, mixed-medium and hand-drawn portraits that depict Black African individuals interacting with nature, the spiritual and the struggle of forced labor to build New York City. Combined with the portraits is an original musical composition by Prevost that collectively makes up her series “Play on Culture and Play on Ritual.”

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Photo #1: Front Parlor, Rachel Sydlowski, Marquise Foster, Photo Credit Max Yawney
Photo #2: Second Floor Bedroom-Gwendolyn Black, Creator-Clothing By Wilma Ann Sealy-Title is My Soul Sings of Freedom(tm)-Credit Juan Brizuela
Photo #3: Second Floor Hallway, Sheila Provost, “Uhuru” Last Enslaved-Credit Juan Brizuela