The New-York Historical Society (NYHS) presents Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw. On view from January 27 through May 28, 2023, according to the NYHS, the exhibition will bring “overdue attention to a skilled craftsman whose racial identity was long overlooked.” Commeraw was born enslaved and rose to prominence as a free Black entrepreneur, owning and operating a successful pottery. For over two decades, Commeraw accumulated property, engaged in state and national politics, and participated in the life of New York City’s free Black community. The exhibition will explore Commeraw’s history as a “craftsman, business owner, family man, and citizen.”
Crafting Freedom will feature 20 stoneware jars and jugs produced by Commeraw’s pottery and his contemporaries between the late 1790s and 1819. His “personal, political, and civic activity come alive” through other artifacts, newspapers, broadsides, books, and documents.
Tickets are required to view the exhibition. To purchase tickets, click here.