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David Cadden

Today I visited the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art located on 1400 Jack Warner Pkwy NE. The first thing that stands out about the Museum of its Oriental building design which is rather unique and is a very nice building(5). The Museum belonged to a wealthy Tuscaloosa business man by the name of Jack Warner.

The Museum contains many works of art from the time of 1775 onward.  The paintings vary greatly from year, artist, influence, meaning, and size. When you first walk in there are many portraits and landscape paintings. I am no art enthusiast, but I was a fan of some of the massive landscaping paintings that were very impressive. On the left wing of the building there was many photographs of native Americans hunting, socializing, playing lacrosse, fighting, and many others.(1) They had many sketches, water color, as well as oil base paintings. In the Middle, The museum had a large statue of John Hancock portraying him post signing of the Declaration of independence(2), as well as other paintings portraying the signing of the declaration and other key american history events. I even stumbled upon a picture that used to hang in the oval office from 1976 - 1989. (3)  Towards the back I found more Civil war related photos that showed very little fighting but more of soldiers preparing for battle. (4) There were also paintings of slaves typically having a good lifestyle pre 1865 which I thought was interesting and may be a product of the collectors choice of what to collect and not collect.

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David Cadden

I went to visit the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion today April 29th. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a free tour of the house and I learned a lot about the history of the residence. The guide explained to us that it was build over a period of 3+ years and served as Senators Robert Jemison Jr.'s Town house away from his plantation. The house is arguably the nicest house in Tuscaloosa at the time boasting the first in Tuscaloosa to have a fully plumbed bathroom, a bathtub with hot water, and even gas lighting. It even had its own toilets on the back porch of the house(one for slaves one for members of their family). Our Guide also mentioned that typically this house was ran by 13-17 slaves. This house was built to entertain large parties and show off the money of the Jemisons. Most interestingly we found out about the Cherokee Legend. According to our tour guide the family befriended the Cherokees and they protected them from a Choctaw attack. So they thanked them by naming their daughter Cherokee and it is now a family name.

The pictures I have uploaded are from Priscilla Cherokee Jemison's office, the first bathtub in Tuscaloosa, the back pavilion, original sliding doors, and the front of the Mansion.


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