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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Harriet Tubman

Photo: © Melanie Wilks

Sculptor: Melanie Wilks

Materials: Maltese limestone

Unveiled: 1 October 2013

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman, born Araminta Ross, (c.1820 -1913) an abolitionist and political activist was known as the ‘Moses of her people’. An escaped slave from the South, she was a leading figure as a ‘conductor’ on the Underground Railroad, which helped hundreds of slaves to escape to freedom. During the American Civil War she worked as a nurse and cook, then as an armed scout and spy. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement.  The Harriet Tubman Memorial was commissioned by Kirklees Council as part of Black history month to mark the hundredth anniversary of the her death. Wilks created the concept for the sculpture working with students from the Netherhall Learning Campus, Huddersfield. The plinth on which the portrait bust sits is carved with reliefs inspired by African art and culture. The work in Maltese limestone is signed and dated. It was unveiled on 1 October 2013.

Location: Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery, Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.