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Detail of Brass Caster's Environment, from African Series

Detail of Brass Caster's Environment, from African Series

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Freida High

An alumna and professor emeritus of UW-Madison, Freida High is an artist and historian specializing in feminist theory and critical race theory. She created this color woodcut following a visit to a traditional guild quarter in Benin City, Nigeria. About this experience the artist wrote, “Though I saw no green on the ground, no grass, I saw life all around. As the men worked, and women were not present, I saw signs of women’s lives in the presence of children (reproduction/nurturing), and women’s work with the textiles and clothing blowing in the wind (art and laundry).” High’s choice to recreate this memory using hand-carved woodblocks, materially related to the cut timber represented in the scene, connects her own work and artistry to the historical and cultural legacy she observed in Nigeria.
Freida High
(American, b. 1946)
Detail of Brass Caster's Environment, from African Series
Color woodcut
15 1/4 x 20 1/2 in. image
Gift of Evjue-Bascom Professor Freida High Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis in memory of her 41 1/2 years of teaching African and African American Art History at UW-Madison, her work with Mr. Andrew Stevens, Curator of Works on Paper, and her larger history with the museum
Accession No.
United States


2019, gifted by artist [Freida High Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis] (Madison, WI) to Chazen Museum of Art

  • IYARE! Splendor & Tension in Benin's Palace Theatre: William B. Dietrich Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, 11/8/2008–3/1/2009
  • Freida High-Wasikhongo: Fine Arts Museum of the South, 2/26/1986–3/31/1986
  • Freida High-Wasikhongo : Rosenthal Gallery, Fayetteville State University, 2/3/1986–2/21/1986
  • Freida High-Wasikhongo, AfricaTown Folk Festival: University of South Alabama Art Gallery, 2/5/1984–2/19/1984
  • Freida High: Prints and Drawings: Studio Museum in Harlem, 10/17/1976–11/21/1976
  • Sixieme Concours International Palm D'or Des Beaux-Arts 1974: International Art Guild, Monaco, 11/4/1974–11/23/1974
  • Latest Reflections: An Exhibition of Prints by Freida High: Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, 5/5/1974–5/24/1974
  • Freida High (1976): Kentucky State University Art Gallery
  • Freida High (1976): Burpee Art Museum
  • Freida High Tesfagiorgis: Prints and Drawings: Grand Rapids Art Museum, 10/30/1988

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