The recent article in PAW about the canceled art exhibit that I sponsored (On the Campus, May issue) failed to relate that four paintings by the former Confederate Jewish artist Theodore Moise were shown five years ago at the Princeton University Art Museum, and later at the New-York Historical Society. That exhibit, which I also sponsored, provided full disclosure and was free of incident. Those paintings included one of Moise’s Aunt Penina, the poet laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, and author of the rare first American Jewish hymnal (a copy of which I donated to Princeton); and another of Henry Clay, which was borrowed from the Met.
The statue “Faith” was carved by Moses Ezekiel, the other former Confederate in question, a man who was ennobled by three European monarchs. “Faith” was a marble version of one of the two figures in Ezekiel’s 24-foot monument that has been displayed in Philadelphia since 1876, near the Liberty Bell. There is an American eagle in the monument, attacking a snake which, according to historian Beth Wenger, represents slavery. We also planned to exhibit Ezekiel’s portrait busts of Abraham Lincoln, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, and the sculptor’s friend the composer Franz Liszt. Ezekiel lived and worked in Rome for some 40 years.