In Pursuit of the Confederate Truce Flag

A Monument Lab Live conversation about a cloth that brokered peace and represented the promise of reconciliation


Fields of Knowledge
  • Artistic legacies
  • Memory
  • Politics / Economics
  • Public culture

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Monument Lab, and The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Slought is pleased to announce "In Pursuit of the Confederate Truce Flag," a live recording of the Monument Lab Podcast with textile and social practice artist Sonya Clark in conversation with Artistic Director Paul Farber. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 6-8pm, and is presented with The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) in Philadelphia and Monument Lab. The first fifty people to arrive will receive a keepsake from FWM as a memento of this event.

The conversation will explore Clark's research informing her upcoming exhibition at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, "Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know," on view March 29 – August 4, 2019. In this exhibition, Sonya Clark raises a series of questions including: "Why do we know the Confederate Battle Flag instead of the Confederate Truce Flag that marked surrender, brokered peace, and was a promise of reconciliation? What would it mean to the psychology of this nation if the Truce Flag replaced the flag associated with hate and white supremacy?"

Clark investigates the legacy of symbols and challenges the power of propaganda, erasures, and omissions. By making the Truce Flag – a cloth that brokered peace and represented the promise of reconciliation – into a monumental alternative to the infamous Confederate Battle Flag and its pervasive divisiveness, Clark instigates a role reversal and aims to correct a historical imbalance.  "Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know" is a timely catalyst for dialogue about the scars of the Confederacy and America's ability to acknowledge and reckon with racial injustice. 

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"Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know" is the culmination of Sonya Clark's two-year residency with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Clark has received numerous awards, including an Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2016) and a Pollock Krasner award. Her work has been exhibited in more than 350 museums and galleries throughout the world. For 12 years, Clark served as a professor and chair of the Department of Craft and Material Studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. She is currently Professor of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College where she received an honorary doctorate in 2015.

Paul Farber is a historian, curator, and educator from Philadelphia. He is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Monument Lab, a national public art and history studio.

About Monument Lab

Monument Lab is a public art and history initiative based in Philadelphia. We are a team of curators, artists, scholars, and students who ask open research questions and build prototype monuments in public spaces. Through our practice, we cultivate contemporary artworks, generate publicly sourced civic data, work directly with municipal and civic partners, and co-author interpretive experiences.