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Photo by Nick Krug
The Jayhawk student section displays an enlarged and modified version of artist John Steuart Curry's "Tragic Prelude" painting, which features abolitionist John Brown holding a rifle, and in this case the 2008 National Championship trophy.
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I am not a big fan of that mural because I feel it misrepresents the struggles that Kansas went through. John Brown was just a small part of it, and his contribution was violence. There are other true heroes, who had a stake in Kansas because they owned land, who stuck it out for years, including John Brown, jr.
This is just a fun mural done by some very creative students at KU.
Well done students!
In contrast to mom_of_three, I am a tremendous fan of that mural. Curry never intended those murals to be factual representations. Instead, he wanted to interpret Kansas' social and historical context. John Brown as a larger-than-life character who actually overshadows the others (including his own sons). Look at the mural again, and note how Curry doesn't glorify Brown as much as interpret him. You'll see the storms of war gathering on the horizon, the flames of war ravaging the country, the brother-against-brother conflict leaving tens of thousands dead on each side, and even mom_of_three's heroes, those who came to settle the state. Moreover, this may be the finest single representation of the Regionalist School. The mural is a masterpiece--not because it represents Kansas history, but because it interprets it through Regionalist techniques. Here's a decent article on the topic: http://www.allbusiness.com/services/museums-art-galleries-botanical-zoological/4354660-1.html
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