March 31, 2022

Karen Lewis’s Work Included in Newberry Library Exhibition

The associate professor’s visualizations of Wilbur Henry Siebert's maps show the network of Underground Railroad routes.

Associate Professor of Architecture Karen Lewis’s visualization “Mapping the Underground Railroad: Landscapes of Defiance and Ingenuity” is included in Crossings: Mapping American Journeys, a new exhibition at the Newberry in Chicago. The exhibition is on view through June 25.

Between 1810 and 1860, as many as 40,000 enslaved people fled the South. They traveled to free states in the North and Canada along a network of safe houses linked by stage, rail, and canal routes. German emigrant Wilbur Henry Siebert used interviews and published accounts to create a map that shows the network of Underground Railroad routes.

In this visualization made by Karen Lewis, Siebert's map and personal memoirs are used to tell the stories of three survivors—Edward Moxley, Eliza Harris, William Wells Brown—and their journeys to freedom.



Read more at the Newberry