Augustus Washington: Visible, Not Seen

Augustus Washington (1820/21-1875) was “the son of a South Asian immigrant” a formally enslaved black Virginian, according to this article published in The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine this spring. Washington studied at Dartmouth, entering with the class of 1847. There, on the Hanover, New Hampshire campus, Washington learned how to make daguerreotypes. Washington and Dempsey R. Fletcher were the only students of African descent at Dartmouth in 1843-44.

Washington’s portrait of John Brown (circa 1846-47) is well-known. Yet there are no confirmed images of Washington himself. Photo historians have been searching and writing about Washington for decades, and the published literature on Washington continues to grow.

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“Advertisement from The Hartford Daily Courant, October 8, 1852. This ad shows the world having its picture taken at Washington’s studio.” – Image, Connecticut Historical Society

Wilson Jeremiah Moses’ Liberian Dreams: Back to Africa Narratives from the 1850s (Penn State University Press, 2010) provides the opportunity to hear Washington’s voice through his written words. Before his migration to Liberia in 1853, Washington wrote this letter to an US newspaper. In Liberia, Washington was a photographer, a sugar cane planter and landowner, and a politician. (Washington’s Dartmouth classmate, Dempsey R. Fletcher, mentioned above, also had lived in Liberia as boy and returned there after studying at Dartmouth.) The African Colonization Movement is a complex subject, and Washington’s images of its key figures helps us think about “what” Africa was and is.

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Augustus Washington, Urias Africanus McGill, circa 1854-60. Image: Better Photography website 

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Marvel executive says emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers

How many things can be blamed on diversity?

Sian Cain’s article in today’s Guardian makes it clear that Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel’s reasoning isn’t reasoned. Recently, Gabriel told a gathering that some comic store owners say their customers “have had enough” of new female and ethnic minority characters.

What customers?

Is there a limit to diversity?

Gabriel is not alone in the effort to make diversity appear unprofitable and to present good diversity practices as charitable acts. . .and bad business. Such false beliefs are widespread. Yet, they are counter to research that proves otherwise.

As always, the comments from Guardian readers are worth perusing.  There’re more than 1,000 of them to date. These letters provide great fodder for thinking about the power of representation and the shifts in visual culture.

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EXH: “Shifting: African American Women Artists and the Power of Their Gaze” @ David Driskell Center, opens March 2nd

The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park is proud to announce its spring exhibition, Shifting: African American Women Artists and the Power of Their Gaze. The exhibition, organized by the Driskell Center, is curated by the David C. Driskell Center’s Executive Director, Professor Curlee R. Holton, assisted by Deputy Director, Dorit Yaron. The exhibition will be on display at the Driskell Center from Thursday, March 2, 2017 through Friday, May 26, 2017, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 2nd, from 5-7PM.

Q&A with Lubaina Himid–“Black British Art,” Then and Now

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Lubaina Himid, The Rapid Effects of Abolition, from the Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service series (2007), an assortment of overpainted plates, bowls and terrines at A-N.

Lubaina Himid is enjoying two one-artist exhibitions in the UK this year. Check out her interview with A-N and her piece in Frieze on her influences. About time!

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Lubaina Himid’s grandmother, MaShulan, photographed in Zanzibar in 1954, and reproduced as a poster for the exhibition ‘New Robes for MaShulan – Lubaina Himid, Work Past and Present’, Rochdale Art Gallery, 1987. Courtest: the artist at Frieze

 

 

REF: Portrait of Aubré Maynard by Yun Gee

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, the Museum of the City of New York is exhibiting a portrait of Dr. Aubré de Lambert Maynard, by artist Yun Gee. Dr. Maynard is best remembered today for his role in helping to save Dr. King life’s after an assassination attempt in […]

via Profiles in Freedom: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Aubre Maynard, and Yun Gee — MCNY Blog: New York Stories

John W. Mosley’s Mid-20th Century Photos of Black Philadelphia 

Check out @hyperallergic’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/hyperallergic/status/813744006114971648?s=09

ISCP Dedalus Foundation Artist Residency: Call for Applications

Deadline Oct. 15, 2016

Estamos contra el muro- A project by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik opening 9.9.2016

A border is, at its core, a mechanism to produce and enforce difference–national, ethnic, racial, and social:

We Against the Wall — exhibition Southern Exposure gallery (San Francisco)

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Bhaumik’s work is social practice that embraces the political. Its institutional critique intersects with critical race art history’s concerns.

Filmmakers Cheryl Dunye & Dee Rees @San Francisco State University (Sept. 23-24, 2016)

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Portrait of Cheryl Dunye (https://apps.chss.sfsu.edu/newsletters/thewatermelonwoman/index.html)

 

Black/Feminist/Lesbian/Queer/Trans* Cultural Production: A Symposium Honoring the 20th Anniversary of Cheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman”

This symposium honors the 20th anniversary of Cheryl Dunye’s film, “The Watermelon Woman” (1996). The first feature film directed by and starring a black lesbian, the production of this film marked a watershed moment for black cinema, feminist cinema, lesbian cinema, and new queer cinema. Appearing in the heyday of what filmmaker and scholar Yvonne Welbon has called the “golden age” of black queer cinema, the film garnered widespread critical acclaim, and its success inspired many black lesbians to create their own films in the years following. Her latest release, “Black is Blue” (2014) is a critically acclaimed narrative short film that follows the life of a black transgender man in Oakland, California. Dunye continues to break ground through complex filmic representations of the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Thus, this conference honors Dunye’s growing body of work, as well as her cultural legacy.

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Photo of Dee Rees (http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2016/6/29/welcome-to-the-academy-683-of-you.html)

Dee Rees will be in conversation with Cheryl Dunye on Fri., Sept. 23, 2016 @7 p.m. Pacific Time at McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Building, SFSU.

The Conference, sponsored by The College of Health and Social Sciences, Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality, Dean of the College of Health and Social Sciences, Dean of the College of Creative and Liberal Arts, Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Funds, Queer Cinema Institute at San Francisco State University, Watermelon Woman 3.0, and Black Sexual Economies Working Group (Washington University-St. Louis), is free and open to the public.

For more information on the symposium, please go to: Watermelon Woman Anniversary Symposium

On Cheryl Dunye’s Watermelon Woman: The Watermelon Woman

On Dee Rees, see: Dee Rees at IMDB.COM

Call for Emerging Artists–Deadline Aug. 1, 2016

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Tim Roseborough (and Cheryl Patrice Derricotte)  were the 2015 Emerging Artists at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), San Francisco.

 

For more information on the 2016 Emerging Artist Program at MoAD, click below:

The Emerging Artists program at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco

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Cheryl Patrice Derricotte (and Tim Roseborough)  were the 2015 Emerging Artists at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), San Francisco.

 

Click here to apply to the 2016 Museum of the African Diaspora Emerging Artist Program.