Arrow Rock lecture to offer unique perspective on Bingham's art

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Arrow Rock -- If you think this year's elections are contentious, wait until you learn about the elections in the mid-19th century, when Arrow Rock's George Caleb Bingham was both candidate and chronicler.

Charles Valier, chairman of the Bingham Trust, will share insights he has gained through his years of study of the Bingham sketches when he is the featured speaker at the Friends of Arrow Rock's first Saturday lecture at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Arrow Rock State Historic Site Visitor Center. This event is free and open to the public.

In his talk, "The People's Collection: Tracing the History and Importance of Bingham's Sketches," Valier will share how, in 1976, a determined group of Missourians and art lovers saved the collection of Bingham's original sketches from being pieced out and sold off. He'll elaborate on Bingham's political aspirations and the fierce election-year fight in 1846 between the artist and his rival, Erasmus Darwin Sappington. Valier will reveal the identities of man of the individuals featured in Bingham's "County Election" and "Stump Speaking" paintings and will explain the significance of who was included -- and who was left out -- of those famous works.

The 2016 Lecture Series is funded by a special gift from Pamela Parsons, former Friends of Arrow Rock Executive Director.

The Friends of Arrow Rock and the Arrow Rock State Historic Site promote the understanding of Missouri history through ongoing education programs and interpretive activities. They safeguard 17 historical structures in the National Historic Landmark village of Arrow Rock: Arrow Rock is located 14 miles north of Interstate 70 at exits 89 or 98 on U.S. Highway 41.

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