African American

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Description: African Americans in Art: Selections from The Art Institute of Chicago
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00008
This special, expanded issue of Museum Studies focuses on the Art Institute of Chicago's growing collection of works by African Americans. Essays on the work of such influential artists as Archibald J. Motley, Jr., Marion Perkins, and Lorna Simpson are presented along with an article on the Art Institute’s striking daguerreotype of Abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass. In addition to these essays, a portfolio section features twenty-nine images, with informative, brief entries examining each work. This important publication presents an overview of the concerns surrounding race in art, celebrates the achievements of a number of gifted African American artists, and provides a broad, multifaceted view of American art and culture.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Author
Print publication date May 1999 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300114799
EISBN 9780300236859
Illustrations 95 Illus.
Print Status out of print
Description: Black Artists in America: From the Great Depression to Civil Rights
This insightful book surveys the varied ways in which Black American artists responded to the political, social, and economic climate of the United States from the time of the Great Depression through the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision. Featuring paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by artists including Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin, Augusta Savage, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Norman Lewis, Walter Augustus Simon, Loïs Mailou Jones, and more, the book recognizes the contributions Black artists made to Social Realism and abstraction as they debated the role of art in society and community. Black artists played a vital part in midcentury art movements, and the inclusive policies of government programs like the Works Progress Administration brought more of these artists into mainstream circles.

Earnestine Jenkins discusses the work of Black artists during this period; the perspective of Black women artists with a focus on the sculpture of Augusta Savage; and the pedagogy of Black American art through the art and teaching of Walter Augustus Simon.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal.*
Print publication date January 2022 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300260908
EISBN 9780300269932
Illustrations 130
Print Status in print
Description: Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00277
Winner of the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award, sponsored by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)

In 1916, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) met Thomas Eugene McKeller (1890–1962), a young African American elevator attendant, at Boston’s Hotel Vendome. McKeller became the principal model for Sargent’s murals in the new wing of the city’s Museum of Fine Arts, among the painter’s most ambitious works. Sargent’s nude studies and sketches from this project attest to a close collaboration between the two men that unfolded over nearly ten years. Featuring drawings given by Sargent to Isabella Stewart Gardner and published in full for the first time, a portrait of McKeller, and archival materials reconstructing his life and relationship with Sargent, this book opens new avenues into artist-model relationships and transforms our understanding of Sargent’s iconic American paintings. Essays offer the first biography of McKeller and a window onto African American life in early-20th-century Boston. They also address the artist’s sexuality, his models, and questions of race and identity.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal.*
Author
Print publication date February 2020 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300249866
EISBN 9780300266146
Illustrations 136
Print Status in print
Description: Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery
Clifton Ellis (Editor), Rebecca Ginsburg (Editor)
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00291
Archaeological and historical scholarship completed over the past decade has revealed much about the built environments of slavery and the daily lives of enslaved workers in North America. Cabin, Quarter, Plantation is the first book to take this new research into account and comprehensively examine the architecture and landscapes of enslavement on plantations and farms.

This important work brings together the best writing in the field, including classic pieces on slave landscapes by W. E. B. Du Bois and Dell Upton, alongside new essays on such topics as the building methods that Africans brought to the American South and information about slave family units and spiritual practices that can be gathered from archaeological remains. Through deep analysis of the built environment the authors invite us to reconsider antebellum buildings, landscapes, cabins, yards, and garden plots, and what these sites can teach us about the real conditions of enslavement. The starting point in any study of slavery and the built environment, this anthology makes essential contributions to our understanding of American slavery and to the fields of landscape history and architectural history.

The essay by Cheryl Janifer LaRoche in this volume has been revised and expanded for the A&AePortal.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal.*
Author
Clifton Ellis (Editor), Rebecca Ginsburg (Editor)
Print publication date June 2010 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300120424
EISBN 9780300267723
Illustrations 52
Print Status out of print
Description: Circulation
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00191
As a category in art history, circulation is rooted in the contemporary context of Internet culture and the digital image. Yet circulation, as a broader concept for the movement of art across time and space in vastly different cultural and media contexts, has been a factor in the history of the arts in the United States since at least the eighteenth century.

The third volume in the Terra Foundation Essays series, Circulation brings together an international and interdisciplinary team of scholars, including Thierry Gervais, Tom Gunning, J. M. Mancini, Frank Mehring, and Hélène Valance, who map the multiple planes where artistic meaning has been produced by the circulation of art from the eighteenth century to the present. The book looks at both broad historical trends and the successes and failures of particular works of art from a wide variety of artists and styles. Together, the contributions significantly expand the conceptual and methodological terrain of scholarship on American art.

Terra Foundation Essays
Volume 3
Author
Print publication date June 2017 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780932171610
EISBN 9780300256826
Illustrations 57
Print Status in print
Description: Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00260
One of the most iconic images of slavery is a schematic wood engraving depicting the human cargo hold of a slave ship. First published by British abolitionists in 1788, it exposed this widespread commercial practice for what it really was--shocking, immoral, barbaric, unimaginable. Printed as handbills and broadsides, the image Cheryl Finley has termed the "slave ship icon" was easily reproduced, and by the end of the eighteenth century it was circulating by the tens of thousands around the Atlantic rim. Committed to Memory provides the first in-depth look at how this artifact of the fight against slavery became an enduring symbol of black resistance, identity, and remembrance.

Finley traces how the slave ship icon became a powerful tool in the hands of British and American abolitionists, and how its radical potential was rediscovered in the twentieth century by black artists, activists, writers, filmmakers, and curators. Finley offers provocative new insights into the works of Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, and many others. She demonstrates how the icon was transformed into poetry, literature, visual art, sculpture, performance, and film—and became a medium through which diasporic Africans have reasserted their common identity and memorialized their ancestors.

Committed to Memory features works from around the world, taking readers from the United States and England to West Africa and the Caribbean. It shows how contemporary black artists and their allies have used this iconic eighteenth-century engraving to reflect on the trauma of slavery and come to terms with its legacy.
Print publication date July 2018 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691136844
EISBN 9780300265712
Illustrations 151
Print Status in print
Description: Elizabeth Catlett: In the Image of the People
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00044
Painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Elizabeth Catlett (b. 1915) played an influential role in America's African American and Mexico's revolutionary art communities in the mid-twentieth century. Catlett studied at the University of Iowa (where she briefly worked with Grant Wood), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Art Students League in New York before moving to Mexico in 1947.

Focusing on Catlett’s evocative Negro Woman series from 1946–47, this book reveals Catlett’s commitment to social and political issues. All of the fifteen linoleum prints are featured together address the harsh reality of black women’s labor; renowned historical heroines such as Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Phillis Wheatley; and the fears, struggles, and achievements of ordinary African American women. Other notable works by Catlett are also included, and an absorbing essay by distinguished scholar Melanie Anne Herzog analyzes the artist’s powerful work from a biographical perspective.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date February 2006 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300116120
EISBN 9780300235821
Illustrations 26 Illus.
Print Status in print
Description: Going There: Black Visual Satire
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00221
In this groundbreaking study, Richard J. Powell investigates the visual forms of satire produced by black artists in 20th- and 21st-century America. Underscoring the historical use of visual satire as antiracist dissent and introspective critique, Powell argues that it has a distinctly African American lineage. Taking on some of the most controversial works of the past century—in all their complexity, humor, and provocation—Powell raises important questions about the social power of art.

Expansive in both historical reach and breadth of media presented, Going There interweaves discussions of such works as the midcentury cartoons of Ollie Harrington, the installations of Kara Walker, the paintings of Robert Colescott, and the movies of Spike Lee. Other artists featured in the book include David Hammons, Arthur Jafa, Beverly McIver, Howardena Pindell, Betye Saar, and Carrie Mae Weems. Thoroughly researched and rich in context, Going There is essential reading in the history of satire, racial politics, and contemporary art.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date November 2020 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300245745
EISBN 9780300259650
Illustrations 120
Print Status in print
Description: Horace Pippin, American Modern
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00211
"Horace Pippin shines in the midst of an overdue racial reckoning in the United States, to which it makes a substantial scholarly contribution." —Clara Barnhart, caa.reviews

Arguably the most successful African American artist of his day, Horace Pippin (1888–1946) taught himself to paint in the 1930s and quickly earned international renown for depictions of World War I, black families, and American heroes Abraham Lincoln, abolitionist John Brown, and singer Marian Anderson, among other subjects. This volume sheds new light on how the disabled combat veteran claimed his place in the contemporary art world. Organized around topics of autobiography, black labor, artistic process, and gift exchange, it reveals the range of references and critiques encoded in his work and the racial, class, and cultural dynamics that informed his meteoric career.

Horace Pippin, American Modern offers a fresh perspective on the artist and his moment that contributes to a more expansive history of art in the 20th century. Featuring over 60 of Pippin’s paintings, this volume also includes two previously unknown artist’s statements—“The Story of Horace Pippin as told by Himself” and “How I Paint”—and an exhibition history and list of artworks drawn from new research.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date February 2020 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300243307
EISBN 9780300257533
Illustrations 121
Print Status in print
Description: Humans
BOOKHumans
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00289
Humans are organisms, but “the human being” is a term referring to a complicated, self-contradictory, and historically evolving set of concepts and practices. Humans explores competing versions, constructs, and ideas of the human being that have figured prominently in the arts of the United States. These essays consider a range of artworks from the colonial period to the present, examining how they have reflected, shaped, and modeled ideas of the human in American culture and politics. The book addresses to what extent artworks have conferred more humanity on some human beings than others, how art has shaped ideas about the relationships between humans and other beings and things, and in what ways different artistic constructions of the human being evolved, clashed, and intermingled over the course of American history. Humans both tells the history of a concept foundational to US civilization and proposes new means for its urgently needed rethinking.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal.*
Print publication date December 2021 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780932171726
EISBN 9780300267594
Illustrations 50
Print Status in print
Description: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume IV: From the American Revolution to...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00144
In the 1960s, art patron Dominique de Menil founded an image archive showing the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art. Highlights from her collection appeared in three large-format volumes that quickly became collector’s items. A half-century later, Harvard University Press and the Du Bois Institute are proud to publish a complete set of ten sumptuous books, including new editions of the original volumes and two additional ones.

Black Models and White Myths examines the tendentious racial assumptions behind representations of Africans that emphasized the contrast between “civilization” and “savagery” and the development of so-called scientific and ethnographic racism. These works often depicted Africans within a context of sexuality and exoticism, representing their allegedly natural behavior as a counterpoint to inhibited European conduct.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Author
Print publication date May 2012 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780674052604
EISBN 9780300244700
Illustrations 209
Print Status in print
Description: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume IV: From the American Revolution to...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00143
In the 1960s, art patron Dominique de Menil founded an image archive showing the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art. Highlights from her collection appeared in three large-format volumes that quickly became collector’s items. A half-century later, Harvard University Press and the Du Bois Institute are proud to publish a complete set of ten sumptuous books, including new editions of the original volumes and two additional ones.

Slaves and Liberators looks at the political implications of the representation of Africans, from the earliest discussions of the morality of slavery, through the rise of abolitionism, to the imposition of European imperialism on Africa. Popular imagery and great works, like Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa and Turner’s Slave Ship, are considered in depth, casting light on widely differing European responses to Africans and their descendants.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Author
Print publication date May 2012 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780674052598
EISBN 9780300244694
Illustrations 203
Print Status in print
Description: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume V: The Twentieth Century, Part 1: The...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00145
In the 1960s, art patrons Dominique and Jean de Menil founded an image archive showing the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art from the ancient world to modern times. Highlights from the image archive, accompanied by essays written by major scholars, appeared in three large-format volumes, consisting of one or more books, that quickly became collector’s items. A half-century later, Harvard University Press and the Du Bois Institute are proud to have republished five of the original books and to present five completely new ones, extending the series into the twentieth century.

The Impact of Africa, the first of two books on the twentieth century, looks at changes in the Western perspective on African art and the representation of Africans, and the paradox of their interpretation as simultaneously “primitive” and “modern.” The essays include topics such as the new medium of photography, African influences on Picasso and on Josephine Baker’s impression of 1920s Paris, and the influential contribution of artists from the Caribbean and Latin American diasporas.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Author
Print publication date February 2014 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780674052673
EISBN 9780300244717
Illustrations 226
Print Status in print
Description: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume V: The Twentieth Century, Part 2: The...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00146
In the 1960s, art patrons Dominique and Jean de Menil founded an image archive showing the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art from the ancient world to modern times. Highlights from the image archive, accompanied by essays written by major scholars, appeared in three large‐format volumes, consisting of one or more books, that quickly became collector’s items. A half‐century later, Harvard University Press and the Du Bois Institute are proud to have republished five of the original books and five completely new ones, extending the series into the twentieth century.

The Rise of Black Artists, the second of two books on the twentieth century and the final volume in The Image of the Black in Western Art, marks an essential shift in the series and focuses on representation of blacks by black artists in the West. This volume takes on important topics ranging from urban migration within the United States to globalization, to Négritude and cultural hybridity, to the modern black artist’s relationship with European aesthetic traditions and experimentation with new technologies and media. Concentrating on the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, essays in this volume shed light on topics such as photography, jazz, the importance of political activism to the shaping of black identities, as well as the post-black art world.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Author
Print publication date October 2014 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780674052697
EISBN 9780300244724
Illustrations 220
Print Status in print
Description: Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00239
This revelatory study investigates how changing modes of representing the black female figure were foundational to the development of modern art. Posing Modernity examines the legacy of Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863), arguing that this radical painting marked a fitfully evolving shift toward modernist portrayals of the black figure as an active participant in everyday life rather than as an exotic “other.” Denise Murrell explores the little-known interfaces between the avant-gardists of nineteenth-century Paris and the post-abolition community of free black Parisians. She traces the impact of Manet’s reconsideration of the black model into the twentieth century and across the Atlantic, where Henri Matisse visited Harlem jazz clubs and later produced transformative portraits of black dancers as icons of modern beauty. These and other works by the artist are set in dialogue with the urbane “New Negro” portraiture style with which Harlem Renaissance artists including Charles Alston and Laura Wheeler Waring defied racial stereotypes. The book concludes with a look at how Manet’s and Matisse’s depictions influenced Romare Bearden and continue to reverberate in the work of such global contemporary artists as Faith Ringgold, Aimé Mpane, Maud Sulter, and Mickalene Thomas, who draw on art history to explore its multiple voices.

Posing Modernity illuminates long-obscured figures and proposes that a history of modernism cannot be complete until it examines the vital role of the black female muse within it.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date November 2018 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300229066
EISBN 9780300257649
Illustrations 178
Print Status in print
Description: To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00170
By turns historical, critical, and personal, this book examines the use of art—and love—as a resource amid the recent wave of shootings by American police of innocent black women and men. Darby English attends to a cluster of artworks created in or for our tumultuous present that address themes of racial violence and representation idiosyncratically, neither offering solutions nor accommodating shallow narratives about difference. In Zoe Leonard’s Tipping Point, English sees an embodiment of love in the face of brutality; in Kerry James Marshall’s untitled 2015 portrait of a black male police officer, a greatly fraught subject treated without apparent judgment; in Pope.L’s Skin Set Drawings, a life project undertaken to challenge codified uses of difference, color, and language; and in a replica of the Lorraine Motel—the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968—a monument to the unfinished business of the integrated nonviolent movement for civil rights. For English, the consideration of art is a paradigm of social life, because art is something we must share. Powerful, challenging, and timely, To Describe a Life is an invitation to rethink what life in ongoing crisis is and can be—and, indeed, to discover how art can help.
Print publication date March 2019 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300230383
EISBN 9780300247541
Illustrations 69
Print Status in print
Description: What Can and Can’t Be Said: Race, Uplift, and Monument Building in the...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00240
An original study of monuments to the civil rights movement and Black history that have been erected in the American South over the past three decades, this powerful work explores how commemorative structures have been used to assert the presence of African Americans in contemporary Southern society while showing how the construction of such monuments frequently exposes the myth that racial differences have been overcome. 

Examining monuments whose creation has been particularly contentious, from the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial in Washington, D.C., to more obscure memorials such as the so-called "multicultural monument" in Bowling Green, Virginia, Dell Upton shows that monument builders must contend not only with varied interpretations of the African-American past but also with the continuing presence of White supremacy—not only in its traditional forms but also in the subtler, more recent assumptions that Whites are neutral arbiters of what is fair and accurate in such monuments.

Upton argues that Southerners, White and Black, share a convenient fiction—a “dual heritage” that allows them to acknowledge the Black past without relinquishing cherished White historical mythologies. In his conclusion, Upton considers how these two pasts might be reimagined and memorialized as a single Southern American history.

*For the A&AePortal edition of this book, the author's black-and-white images were replaced with color.*
Print publication date November 2015 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300211757
EISBN 9780300262261
Illustrations 59
Print Status in print