About the Sculpture “Lifting the Veil of Ignorance”

Statue_of_Booker_T._Washington__Lifting_the_Veil_of_Ignorance,__by_Charles_Keck_located_at_Tuskegee_University_in_Tuskegee,_Alabama_LCCN2010637782.tifFROM THE ARTIST’S STUDIO

The original intent of the sculpture project for Booker T. Washington High School was for the artist to recreate the sculpture “Lifting the Veil of Ignorance.” This sculpture is very large and resides on campus at Tuskegee University in Alabama. There is a smaller version of the sculpture, often referred to as a maquette. An artist creates a maquette to work out the design. The original maquette was damaged and needed repair. 

There were several concerns when copying art. The first concern is copyright. We will go into this in another post. The second concern is that it takes a very long time to create a bronze sculpture. An artist wants their work to be original, and spending a year copying someone else’s work is not enticing. However, it can be done digitally, as we will see. 

Let’s take a closer look at the art. The sculpture was created by Charles Keck (1875-1951) and dedicated in 1922.

The artist was very prolific, creating pieces of Washington, Lincoln, and many other famous people. This link provides some beautiful photographs of the sculpture from all sides. 

Questions for teachers and students
What do you think the sculpture means? What does it represent? Why do you think the artist portrayed the subject this way? What is he holding? What is he sitting on and why? Do you like the work? What feeling do you get from the two subjects? Do you think the size of the sculpture makes a difference?   

Why was this sculpture installed here? 

What is the relationship between Booker T. Washington to Tuskegee? 

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon



Leave a Comment