From 9/20 through 9/23, visitors may only enter through the John R entrance. All other entrances, plus the museum grounds, Kirby St and Farnsworth St will be closed during this time for Concours d'Elegance.

Uncle Tom and Little Eva, 1853

  • Robert S. Duncanson, American, 1821 - 1872

Oil on canvas

  • Unframed: 27 1/4 × 38 1/4 inches (69.2 × 97.2 cm)
  • 32 13/16 × 43 3/4 × 2 1/2 inches, 30 pounds (83.3 × 111.1 × 6.4 cm, 13.6 kg)

Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Butler and Miss Grace R. Conover


Signed, lower left: R. S. Duncanson 1853

Signed and dated, lower left: R. S. Duncanson 1853

1853-1902, commissioned by the Reverend James Francis Conover, Episcopalian minister of Cincinnati, Detroit and elsewhere (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

1902-1949, Conover family (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

1949-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Daily Cincinnati Gazette. March 17, 1853, 2. Detroit Free Press. April 21, 1853, 21. Porter, J. 1943, pp. 43-46. Cavallo. 1950-51, pp. 21-25. Bulletin of the DIA 30, no. 1 (1950-1951): 21-25, (ill.). Porter, J. 1951, pp. 128-129, 147. Art in America 39, no 3 (Oct. 1951): 128-129 (ill.). Uncle Tom's Centenary Exhibition. Exh. cat., Detroit Public Library. Detroit, 1952, no. 140, p. 47. Rediscovering the American Painting. Exh. cat., Cincinnati Art Museum. Cincinnati, 1955, no. 29. Romantic America. Exh. cat., John Herron Art Museum. Indianapolis, 1961, no. 13. Michigan Art Yesterday and Today. Exh. cat., Flint Institute of Arts. Flint, 1963, cat. no. 7. The Portrayal of the Negro in American Painting. Exh. cat., Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Brunswick, ME, 1964, cat. no. 30. Ten Afro-American Artists of the Nineteenth Century. Exh. cat., Howard University. Washington, D.C., 1967, p. 14. Afro-American Artists 1800-1969. Exh. cat., School District of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, 1969, no. 74. Dimensions of Black. Exh. cat., La Jolla Museum of Art. San Diego, 1970, cat. no. 169, p. 66 (ill. p. 64). Robert S. Duncanson. Exh. cat., Cincinnati Art Museum. Cincinnati, 1972, no. 8, p. 38 (ill. p. 23). Gibson, A. H. Artists of Early Michigan. Detroit, 1975, p. 95 (ill.). Duncanson: A British-American Connection. Exh. cat., Museum of Art, North Carolina Central University. Durham, NC, 1984, p. 6, no. 12 (ill.). Hartigan, L.R. Sharing Traditions, Five Black Artists in Nineteenth-Century America. Exh. cat., National Museum of American Art. Washington, D.C., 1985, p. 57, fig. 13. The Portrayal of the Black Musician in American Art. Exh. cat, California Afro-American Museum. Los Angeles, 1987, fig. 11, p. 16. The Color Line: Les artistes africains-américains et la ségrégation, 1865-2016. Exh. cat., Musée du Quai Branly. Paris, 2016 p. 19 (ill.). Betjemann, Peter. "The Ends of Time: Abolition, Apocalypse, and Narrativity in Robert S. Duncanson's Literary Paintings." American Art (Fall 2017): pp.100-101 (fig. 11). Pfohl, Katie A., ed. Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana. Exh. cat., New Orleans Museum of Art. New Orleans, 2019, pp. 94-95 (fig. 6), p. 169, pl. 16 (ill.). Arabindan-Kesson, Anna. "From Poetry into Paint: Robert S Duncanson and the Song of Hiawatha." In Terra Foundation Essays. Vol. 6, Intermedia, Frohne, Ursula, ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022, pp. 96-97, no. 6 (ill.).

Robert S. Duncanson, Uncle Tom and Little Eva, 1853, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts, Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Butler and Miss Grace R. Conover, 49.498.