Banneker-Douglass Museum Saddened byTheft and Defacement of Monumental Statue of Harriet Tubman
For Immediate Release
December 21, 2022
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Banneker-Douglass Museum Saddened by
Theft and Defacement of Monumental Statue of Harriet Tubman
Annapolis, MD – On Saturday, December 17th, the Banneker-Douglass Museum suffered a
theft and the defacement of the monumental statue of Harriet Tubman, Araminta with Rifle and
Vévé (2017) by Dr. Joyce J. Scott.
Installed in September 2022, the monumental statue, Araminta with Rifle and Vévé sits in front
of the museum on view along Franklin Street. Museum staff noticed the vévé, a beaded staff
that Harriet Tubman held in her left hand, was missing.
A police report was filed immediately. Museum staff are currently working with the City of
Annapolis Police Department to review video footage with hopes of recovering the piece.
“We’re saddened that this has occurred,” said Chanel Johnson, Executive Director of
Banneker-Douglass Museum and Maryland Commission on African American History and
Culture. “If anyone has any information connected to the theft, please let us know. We are
asking for the community’s assistance in this effort. We are praying for the return of the vévé to
restore the statue to its original state.”
Dr. Joyce J. Scott, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, is known as the “Queen of Beadwork” for the
intricate, handcrafted beading featured in many of her pieces. Araminta with Rifle and Vévé
(2017) is on loan from Goya Contemporary Gallery in Baltimore. Scott originally created the
piece for a 2018 exhibition entitled Harriet Tubman and Other Truths at Grounds for Sculpture in
The museum will be closed until further notice while the investigation is underway.
If anyone has any information, please contact the museum via email at
About Banneker-Douglass Museum
The Banneker-Douglass Museum is the State of Maryland’s official museum of African
American heritage and culture. It is operated by the Maryland Commission on African American
History and Culture. It serves to document, interpret, and promote African American history and
culture through exhibitions, programs, and projects in order to improve the understanding and
appreciation of America’s rich cultural diversity for all. The museum is open to the public
Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.