Harriet Tubman

I picked this 500 piece Pomegranate puzzle up from the SPCA thrift store downtown a few months ago. I was really drawn to the use of colour in this portrait of abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman by American Painter William H. Johnson.

Johnson was originally from South Carolina and eventually moved to France, he married and then moved to Scandinavia, where they lived for a time. As World War II was escalating in Europe he and his wife decided to head back to the States. They moved in 1938.

His painting style began to solidify into what he is now known for. Vibrant and sombre at the same time – he depicted the black experience in America both from a historical and personal perspective.

Harriet Tubman was an enslaved woman that had eventually escaped slavery and became a “conductor” on the underground railway, helping others to freedom.

As a child, she had intervened, as a man was about to throw a heavy weight at a fugitive. The weight had hit her on the head and broke her skull. This injury, which was not treated, left her with headaches and narcolepsy, which she dealt with for the rest of her life.

She was a nurse and a spy during the Civil War and in her later life, she spoke at numerous suffrage events alongside Susan B. Anthony. She passed away in 1913 to pneumonia in the care home that she had opened in her name a few years previously. Talk about a story!

I loved putting this together, it was fairly easy with all the blocks of colour and as is normal with any Pomegranate puzzle, the detail is so clear that your appreciation for the artist deepens!

It was, as you can see above, missing one piece along the border.