African-American Art

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Overview

From its origins in early 18th century slave communities to the end of the 20th century, African-American art has made a vital contribution to the art of the United States. This book provides a major reassessment of the subject, setting the art in the context of the African-American experience.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Patton has written an excellent and comprehensive introduction to the historical development of African American visual art. She provides much new information on the art making of both slaves and freemen in the 18th and 19th century while later providing a broad art-historical context for black modernists. Pointing out that crafts did not necessarily precede fine art making during slavery, she examines African retentions (and Indian influences) in 18th-century black ceramics and architecture; black women and quilting; abolitionism and the rise of black landscape painters like Robert Duncanson; and sculptor Edmonia Lewis's black expatriate neoclassicism. Turning to generally better- documented 20th-century black artists, Patton arguably provides the first clear discussion of the relationship (both social and aesthetic) of black modernists to the prevailing mainstream artists and art movements of their time. As is perhaps inevitable, Patton's discussion of the contemporary art scene, while quite competent, is defined as much by the artists she fails to mention as by those she chooses to include. Well researched, scrupulously documented and organized, this lucidly written, fully illustrated book also includes numerous useful sidebars defining art movements, issues or individuals. (July)
Library Journal
Several decades of increasing scholarly attention to African American art have led to this excellent survey by Patton art history and African American studies, Univ. of Michigan. The book provides a chronological examination of the development of African American art from its earliest manifestations to the present day. Eschewing the approach taken in many previous books, Patton deemphasizes individual artists' biographies, instead focusing on African American art in its historical-political-cultural setting and its relationship to three centuries of Euro-American art historical trends. Similarly, another recent survey, Richard Powell's Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century in the "World of Art" series Thames & Hudson, 1997 features thematic and iconographic analysis. Given its high-quality illustrations most in color, its well-written, accessible text, and its obvious value as a textbook, this is highly recommended for any library with an interest in art and/or ethnic studies.--Eugene C. Burt, Art Inst. of Seattle Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192842138
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/1998
  • Series: Oxford History of Art Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 231,030
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Patton is Director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, and Associate Professor in History at the University of Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Colonial America and the Young Republic 1700-1820
Introduction
The fight for independence 1775-83
Africa, North America and African-American culture
Plantations
Architecture and the plantation layout
Slave houses
The revival of African culture on the plantations
Life on the plantations
New European-Ameriacn influences
A planter's house in Louisiana
Plantation slave artists and craftsmen
Textiles and patchwork quilts
Folk art
Pottery
Urban slave and free artists and craftsmen
Furniture
Silversmiths
Fine artists

Chapter 2: Nineteenth-Century America, the Civil War and Reconstruction
Introduction
The anti-slavery movement
Free black and slave artisans
Fine artists
Architecture, the decorative arts, and folk art
Urban and rural architecture
Furniture
Metalwork and woodcarving
Pottery
Quilts
Fine arts: Painting, sculpture, and graphic arts
Exhibitions and the viewing public
Abolitionist patronage
Graphic arts
Landscape painting
Neoclassical sculpture
Genre and biblical painting

Chapter 3: Twentieth-Century America and Modern Art 1900-60
Introduction
Civil rights and double-consciousness
The development of a modern American art
African-American culture, the New Negro and art in the 1920s
The Great Migration
The Jazz Age
Expatriates and Paris, the Negro Colony
The New Negro movement
Photography
The New Negro artist
Graphic art
Painting
The patronage of the New Negro artist
State funding and the rise of African-American art
The Federal Arts Project
The legacy of the New Negro movement
N├ęgritude and figurative sculpture
Folk art
American Scene painting
African-American murals
WPA workshops and community art centres
Social realism
Abstract art and modernism in New York
Abstract figurative painting
Patronage and critical debate
American culture post World War II
Folk art
Painting: Expressionism and Surrealism
Abstract Expressionism and African-American art
Primitivism
Early Abstract Expressionism: Bearden, Woodruff, and Alston
Abstract Expressionism
Second generation of Abstract Expressionists 1955-61

Chapter 4: Twentieth-Century America: The Evolution of Black Aesthetci
Introduction
Civil rights and black nationalism
Cultural crisis: Black artist or American artist?
Spiral artists' group 1963-6
Painting
The evolution of a modern black aesthetic
Defining black art
Painting
Sculpture
Art institutions and artists' groups
Mainstream art institutions
Black art aesthetcis
Black art and black power
Black artsists' groups
Towards a new abstraction
Are you black enough?
Painting
Sculpture
The postmodern condition 1980-93
Painting
Video art
Sculpture
Photography
Conclusion

Notes
Llist of Illustrations
Bibliographic Essay
Timeline
Index
Introduction
Chapter 1: Colonial America and the Young Republic 1700-1820:
Introduction: The fight for independence 1775-83; Africa, North America, and African American Culture
Plantations: Architecture and the plantation layout; Slave houses
The revival of African culture on the plantations: Life on the plantations; New European-American influences
A Planter's house in Louisiana - Plantation slave artists and craftsmen: Textiles and patchwork quilts; Folk art; Pottery
Urban Slave Artists and Craftsmen: Furniture; Silversmiths; Fine artists
Chapter 2: Nineteenth-Century America, The Civil War and Reconstruction:
Introduction: The anti-slavery movement; Free black and slave artisans; Fine artists
Architecture, the decorative arts, and folk art: Urban and rural Architecture; Furniture; Metalwork and woodcarving; Pottery; Quilts
Fine arts: Painting, sculpture, and graphic arts: Exhibitions and the viewing public; Abolitionist patronage; Graphic arts; Landscape painting; Neoclassical sculpture; Genre and biblical painting
Chapter 3: Twentieth-Century America and Modern Art 1900-60:
Introduction: Civil rights and double-consciousness; The development of a modern American art
African-American culture, the New Negro and art in the 1920s: The Great Migration; The Jazz Age; Expatriates and Paris, the Negro colony; The New Negro movement; Photography; The New Negro artist; Graphic art; Painting
The patronage of the New Negro Artist
State Funding and the Rise of African-American Art: The Federal Arts Project; The legacy of the New Negro movement: Negritude and figurative sculpture; Folk art; American Scene painting; African-American murals; WPA Workshops and community art centres; Social realism; Abstract art and modernism in New York; Abstract figurative painting; Patronage and critical debate
American culture post World War II: Folk art; Painting: Expressionism and Surrealism
Abstract Expressionism and African-American Art: Primitivism; Early Abstract Expressionism: Bearden, Woodruff, and Alston; Abstract Expressionism; Second generation of Abstract Expressionists 1955-61
Chapter 4: Twentieth-Century America: The Evolution of a Black Aesthetic:
Introduction: Civil rights and black nationalism
Cultural crisis: Black artist or American artist: Spiral artist's group 1964-66; Painting
The evolution of a modern black aesthetic: Defining black art; Painting; Sculpture
Art institutions and the artists' groups: Mainstream art institutions; Black art aesthetics; Black art and black power; Black artists' groups
Towards a New Abstraction: Are you black enough?; Painting; Sculpture
The Postmodern condition 1980-93: Painting; Video art; Sculpture; Photography
Conclusion, Notes, List of Illustrations, Bibliographic Essay, Timeline, Index

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