Restricted Pittsburgh Removes Stephen Foster Statue

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Drew

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A Pennsylvania native, Stephen Foster was an early 19th century songwriter whose contributions included, "Oh! Susanna" and "Camptown Races." Foster's song, "My Old Kentucky Home," remains Kentucky's State Song.

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/01/13/stephen-foster-wrote-oh-susanna-cincinnati/1031795001/

He was neither a Confederate nor a slaveholder, but his statue was declared "offensive" and so now it's gone. He died in 1864 at the age 37.

"The Giuseppe Moretti statue was completed in 1900 and thousands attended its dedication."

https://www.41nbc.com/2018/04/26/oh-susanna-songwriters-statue-removed-after-criticism/
 

bdtex

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It wasn't deleted.
 

Drew

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OK thanks. It disappeared from my screen for a few minutes.

He was an interesting character whose songs are known to us today. A lesser-known Icon of sorts.
 
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Drew

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Johnny Cash did one of his songs over a century after he died:

 

jgoodguy

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Reference

Sculpted in 1900 by Giuseppe Moretti, the statue has sat across from the Stephen Foster Memorial since 1940. It depicts Foster, a 19th-century songwriter known for his minstrel and parlor songs, standing while transcribing his piece “Uncle Ned,” a song about a slave. A black man sits at his feet, wearing tattered clothes and strumming a banjo.

The 10-foot-tall bronze statue has been a subject of controversy for years. The City of Pittsburgh Art Commission held a public meeting on the fate of the statue back in early Oct. 2017 at the John P. Robin Civic Building in Downtown Pittsburgh, where audience members shared their views on the sculpture.

The Art Commission unanimously voted in Oct. 2017 to recommend the statue’s removal. The City confirmed in March that the statue would be removed in April.

Reference

Old Uncle Ned
Written & Composed by Stephen C. Foster
New York: Millet's Music Salon, 1848

Dere was an old Nigga, dey call'd him uncle Ned--
He's dead long ago, long ago!
He had no wool on de top ob his head--
De place whar de wool ought to grow.

Den lay down de shubble and de hoe,
Hang up de fiddle and de bow:
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go,
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go.

His fingers were long like de cane in de brake,
He had no eyes for to see;
He had no teeth for to eat de corn cake,
So he had to let de corn cake be.

Den lay down de shubble and de hoe,
Hang up de fiddle and de bow:
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go,
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go.

When Old Ned die Massa take it mighty hard,
De tears run down like de rain;
Old Missus turn pale and she gets berry sad,
Cayse she nebber see Old Ned again.

Den lay down de shubble and de hoe,
Hang up de fiddle and de bow:
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go,
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go.
 

donna

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I have always enjoyed his songs. I use to play them on my piano. If you are ever in Bardstown, Ky. I recommend you going to see the Stephen Foster Story.

Also in Bardstown, a must see is Old Kentucky Home. It is beautifully preserved house.
 
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RobertP

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Reference

Sculpted in 1900 by Giuseppe Moretti, the statue has sat across from the Stephen Foster Memorial since 1940. It depicts Foster, a 19th-century songwriter known for his minstrel and parlor songs, standing while transcribing his piece “Uncle Ned,” a song about a slave. A black man sits at his feet, wearing tattered clothes and strumming a banjo.

The 10-foot-tall bronze statue has been a subject of controversy for years. The City of Pittsburgh Art Commission held a public meeting on the fate of the statue back in early Oct. 2017 at the John P. Robin Civic Building in Downtown Pittsburgh, where audience members shared their views on the sculpture.

The Art Commission unanimously voted in Oct. 2017 to recommend the statue’s removal. The City confirmed in March that the statue would be removed in April.

Reference

Old Uncle Ned
Written & Composed by Stephen C. Foster
New York: Millet's Music Salon, 1848

Dere was an old Nigga, dey call'd him uncle Ned--
He's dead long ago, long ago!
He had no wool on de top ob his head--
De place whar de wool ought to grow.

Den lay down de shubble and de hoe,
Hang up de fiddle and de bow:
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go,
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go.

His fingers were long like de cane in de brake,
He had no eyes for to see;
He had no teeth for to eat de corn cake,
So he had to let de corn cake be.

Den lay down de shubble and de hoe,
Hang up de fiddle and de bow:
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go,
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go.

When Old Ned die Massa take it mighty hard,
De tears run down like de rain;
Old Missus turn pale and she gets berry sad,
Cayse she nebber see Old Ned again.

Den lay down de shubble and de hoe,
Hang up de fiddle and de bow:
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go,
No more hard work for poor Old Ned--
He's gone whar de good Niggas go.
A Rap artist ahead of his time. :smoke:
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Yes, I do not mean to be argumentative but goodness. No over reaction there. It really is the kind of thing we should all support, hoping no one noticed it took so long. Pittsburgh literally rose from the rubble- is now home to some of the best education, tech and science we have. Talk about moving forward.

I'm sorry but while respecting Pittsburgh had the right to make the choice, it's such an appalling image you would not imagine it could cause controversy, anywhere! I just do not understand where North/South comes into it, either.

Pittsburgh also hosts an awfully good football team. Now, if someone wished to remove a statue of a Steeler, may have to go chain myself to it...... :angel:
 
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LoriAnn

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Sculpted in 1900 by Giuseppe Moretti, the statue has sat across from the Stephen Foster Memorial since 1940. It depicts Foster, a 19th-century songwriter known for his minstrel and parlor songs, standing while transcribing his piece “Uncle Ned,” a song about a slave. A black man sits at his feet, wearing tattered clothes and strumming a banjo.
Yes, I do not mean to be argumentative but goodness. No over reaction there.
Yeah, I gotta say...I understand why this one is coming down. I can be a little iffy on Generals and likenesses of the common soldier, but not this statue.

Edited to add: Photo of the darn thing
 

JPChurch

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Another sad thing is the city of Pittsburg removed this statue of Stephen Foster just last week. Foster was one of the most celebrated composers of parlor/patriotic songs before/during the ACW. Regretfully, he died at a very young age in his mid 30's. I have a vintage vinyl LP of a real nice collection of some of his works that was produced in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution. All the musical instruments used (including the pump melodian) are the real deal from their collection. The vocalists were all well vested in opera style and the ranges are outstanding. I can just imagine such lovely ladies sipping tea and enjoying so many of Foster's popular compositions
800px-Stephen_Foster_Monument_-_Pittsburgh_-_IMG_0791.jpg
 
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major bill

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This is one of the problems with history. View change. Yes this Stephen Foster song is racist by current standards but perhaps not so by period standards. So how does America deal with views from the past that are considered politically incorrect by current standards?

So by todays views the statue is not acceptable by the people of Pittsburgh, so they removed it. I am a bit saddened that art works are removed, but in the end the residents get to decide. Some books, movies, and other things express views that are dated by current standards.
 

cash

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Agreed, but by Pittsburg, I would certainly hope you'd give the PEOPLE of Pittsburg a voice in the decision, not just the politicians interested in quelling controversy as a means of getting reelected.
So let me get this straight. You acknowledge removing the statue is popular enough among the people to get the politicians reelected, but then you imply removing the statue is so unpopular the people would not support removing it?
 
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Tailor Pete

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So let me get this straight. You acknowledge removing the statue is popular enough among the people to get the politicians reelected, but then you imply removing the statue is so unpopular the people would not support removing it?
Not quite that simple... elected officials make decisions for a variety of reasons, including public opinion, however...

Politicians ALSO make decisions to benefit their public image AND their ability to secure large donors. Donors who tend to either make statements with their donations, OR fear backlash from special interest groups who may make an issue of such things.

Let the people decide in a referendum, and let the politicians enforce THAT decision.

Thats my two cents worth...
 

Belle Montgomery

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Personally I think something like this is perfect for every town. For those who want to still view "subjective" art this can also serve as a "reminder" of the past as well as a teaching tool for the future and made easy for those who feel offended by today's standards can easily avoid: http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-hungary-controversial-statues-20171013-story.html
Disclaimer: My maternal side is Hungarian/Magyar-lol
 
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