Painting: Olympia Brown (1835-1926)

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Painting: Olympia Brown (1835-1926)

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Prints available in either Matte Poster or Stretched Canvas formats.

Enrich your home, office, or congregation with a print of this painting by Student Pastor Andy Jacobs.

All revenue generated from sales of this artwork are donated to the West Wind Unitarian Universalist Congregation's General Fund, to help cover the operating costs of being a welcoming, affirming, and socially active congregation in Norman, Oklahoma.

Olympia Brown (1835-1926)

Considered the first ordained woman minister in the United States. The Universalist Council ordained Brown in 1863. She worked in ministry for 20 years, then retired to participate in the leadership of the suffragette movement. She was one of the few women to participate in early suffragette protests to live to vote in 1920. Brown was a strong advocate for educating women, for individuals taking charge of their own spirituality, and for the ability of any person to vote on leadership that legislates and rules their lives.

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Brown is painted in an effort to reflect the style of William Blake (1757-1827). His artistic style was directly tied into his religious faith. Blake mostly used lithography and watercolors for his illustrations, I used acrylics for all these paintings, but worked to recreate the freedom of movement and positive body celebration of Blake's work. He wanted to turn the traditional Christian understanding of good and evil on its head. This seemed like the perfect style to build from for the first ordained female clergy in the U.S. She is holding the 19th Amendment in her hand, spinning in a whirlwind of educational materials (pencils, ink, paper, and feathered quills becoming wings), wearing a suffragette sash, and stomping on ripe grapes creating her own communion. The gold medallion around her neck is the symbol of Universalists during the 19th century.