Humanities Event

See all events
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:00 PM7:30 PM
Little remembered today, in 1861 Moses Jacob Ezekiel became the first Jew to attend Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Ezekiel fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and, when it ended, he moved to Italy, where the Italian king and German emperor, among others, would later award him for his sculptures. In the last decade of the 19th century, the United States began its commemoration of the Confederacy's "Lost Cause," including acknowledging the Confederate dead buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1911, the Daughters of the Confederacy chose Ezekiel to create the Confederate Memorial at Arlington. He also sculpted the Thomas Jefferson statue that was a focal point for the fatal Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA. Ezekiel's life and works highlight the ambiguities in the current debate over removing memorials to controversial persons or causes.