Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has announced that it has commissioned African American sculptor Martin Puryear to design and create a memorial on Brown’s Front Campus. The project will recognize the historic ties of Brown University’s founders to the slave trade. The memorial will be located near the site of the university’s earliest buildings, some of which were built with the help of slave labor.
Puryear has agreed to present a design for the memorial this summer. It is hoped that the project will be completed in time for Brown University’s 250th anniversary in 2014.
Puryear is a native of Washington, D.C. After graduating from the Catholic University of America, he enrolled in the Peace Corps and worked in Sierre Leone. He studied at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art and earned a master of fine arts degree in sculpture from Yale University.