Sugar and the Visual Imagination in the Atlantic World, circa 1600-1860
Sugarcane and its products were imaged in many ways in the early modern period, but least often as the white crystals that we commonly associate with the sweetener. The cane itself was frequently depicted in a variety of contexts, didactic, symbolic, and aesthetic; it can be found on title pages of travel literature, in satiric prints and children’s books. Molasses and rum made their way into visual representation less frequently, although here we see how rum came to signify in both pro- and anti-slavery imagery. Exhibit from the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.