Detail image, battle scene and King Philip (Metacomet). Documentation of site-specific installation at the Peabody Historical Society in Peabody, Massachusetts
This work was made as a site specific installation in the main stairwell of the Osborne-Salata House at the Peabody Historical Society in Peabody, Massachusetts. Participating artists were invited to make a piece in response to the museum's collection. Upon touring the site, I was struck by an implicit assumption that North American history begins with European presence: walking around the rooms of the house and looking at the artifacts displayed there, I thought I would have had no idea that North America was inhabited by humans prior to European colonization, if I hadn't entered with that knowledge.
King Philip's War was a violent conflict between the English settler colonists and the Wampanoag that began in 1675, and raged over the entire state of Massachusetts. This work samples from historic paintings and engravings depicting this war and re-presents these violent images over the museum's French toile wallpaper, which features idyllic vignettes of Europeans playfully enjoying themselves an otherwise unpopulated pastoral landscape.
All images and text copyright 2006-2023 Gina Siepel. All rights reserved.