We offer our bronze rendition of John Roger's Group entitled: "Uncle Ned's School" labeled with our foundry stamp.
You are listening to an excerpt of one of the most influential figures of the time perceived as a credible proponent of education for freedmen in the post-Reconstruction, Jim Crow-era South. With Mr. Booker T. Washington's wealthy friends, large sums of money were donated to agencies such as the Jeanes and Slater Funds. As a result, countless small schools were established through his efforts, in programs that continued many years after his death
In the early 19th century some Southern States had laws against teaching slaves to read. When the Civil War ended, many schools were established all over the south for their education. And the adults who were first educated became voluntary teachers. This group created by Rogers captures one of these momments. In 1965, the New Bedford Standard wrote: "A marked feature of these works is their perfect freedom from class prejudice. Mr. Rogers is not afraid nor ashamed to give the negro his proper place. This constitutes one of his claims to be considered a great artist."
Considered by some, the Norman Rockwell of his time, he captured snap shots of life with incredible detail. Many of his subjects included the Civil War, literary topics, theatre scenes, domestic life and historical figures preserved in sculptures he named groups made of plaster. He often used neighbors and family members to model for his sculptures. His acumen for marketing his art, which he may have thought was simply common sense, was in fact ahead of time and often practiced today. You will find many of his groups at the Rogers Studio Museum located on the New Canaan Historical Society campus.