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.
Europe and the World Beyond focuses geographically on peoples of South America and the Mediterranean as well as Africabut conceptually it emphasizes the many ways that visual constructions of blacks mediated between Europe and a faraway African continent that was impinging ever more closely on daily life, especially in cities and ports engaged in slave trade.
The Eighteenth Century features a particularly rich collection of images of Africans representing slavery’s apogee and the beginnings of abolition. Old visual tropes of a master with adoring black slave gave way to depictions of Africans as victims and individuals, while at the same time the intellectual foundations of scientific racism were established.
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About the Author
David Bindman is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at University College London.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
Jean Michel Massing is Professor in the History of Art at Cambridge University.
What People are Saying About This
A fascinating story of the changing image of Africa's people in Western art. The images are simply extraordinary and the scholarship inspiring. Anyone who cares about Western art or about Africa and her diaspora ought to know these magnificent volumes.
In addition to being an indispensable guide to the evolving meanings of racial difference, these dazzling volumes filled with extraordinary images and rich arguments contribute to an alternative history of the Western world. An invaluable gift for both specialists and general readers.
Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness