Freedom Center Explores Underground Railroad Through Storybook Illustrations

Mar 9, 2020

A new exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center tells the story of the Underground Railroad through children's storybook illustrations.

The exhibit is called Miles of Bravery. It pays tribute to people who made the harrowing trip along the Underground Railroad, and those who helped.

The full-size images are drawn from a variety of children's picture books by various authors, but Director of Museum Experiences Katie Bramell says the exhibit isn't just for kids.

"I definitely think it's for all audiences," she says. "It's another way to tell this complicated history and for people to understand and really see what freedom seekers looked like, what the Underground Railroad looked like, and what people working together looks like."

Ain't Nobody a Stranger to Me, illustrator, Jerry Pinkney
Credit Courtesy of University of Findlay's Mazza Museum

The collection includes works from Jerry Pinkney, Bryan Collier, E.B. Lewis and more.

"We're really excited to have here a piece by Amina Brenda Lynn Robinson," Bramell explains. "She was the artist who created the raganon on the second floor, which is our large quilt-like structure."

Miles of Bravery is on view through May 16. It comes from the University of Findlay's Mazza Museum which is home to one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of picture book art.

Frederick Douglass, the Lion Who Wrote History, illustrator, Floyd Cooper.
Credit Courtesy of University of Findlay's Mazza Museum