On top of the Brexit vote, there’s another pitched battle being waged in the UK right now—it’s over a commissioned statue of Mary Seacole (1805-1881), a recognition for her aid and service to the wounded during the Crimean War (1853-1856).
Martin Jennings’s Seacole sculpture is scheduled to be installed at St. Thomas Hospital in London later this month. Opponents say it doesn’t belong at that hallowed site where Florence Nightingale established a nursing school. The opponents double-down when accused of racism by the artist Jennings and other supporters of the monument: Seacole, they claim, wasn’t a nurse nor did she–the child of a free, black Jamaican woman and a white Scottish solider–identify as “black.”
This is a row of great proportions. In the interest of Critical Race Art History, my raised question is “What does diversity look like?”
Sandra Gunning’s essay of 2001, “Traveling with Her Mother’s Tastes: The Negotiations of Gender, Race, and Location in WONDERFUL ADVENTURES OF MRS. SEACOLE IN MANY LANDS,” is a serious consideration of Seacole’s life and times.
Taraji P. Henson’s question at the end of this preview feature piece, “Rocket Science, Race and the ’60s,” published in today’s Times is provocative:
“I hate when I do a film, and it has a lot of African-Americans and they call it a black film,” Ms. Henson said. “I don’t wake up and go, ‘Let’s see, this weekend, I’m going to see a Chinese film, I’m going to see a black film, no I’m going to see a while film with a black person in it.’ Who does that?”
Call for Papers: The Gustatory Turn in American Art
AHAA sponsored session at CAA
February 15-18, 2017, New York
Co-chairs: Guy Jordan, Western Kentucky University and Shana Klein, National Museum of American History
The rapid emergence of food studies programs, food studies journals, and museum exhibitions devoted to food reveals how the role of taste and digestion in American art has become a vibrant topic of study. This session examines the relationships between ocular and gastronomic delectation and visual consumption in paintings, prints, cookbooks, dietary manuals, and other forms of media that represent food and drink. This panel specifically invites papers that consider how artists used formal techniques to elicit pleasure or disgust in images of food and drink and how viewers responded to the sweet or unsavory qualities of an image. Paper proposals might also consider how images of food and drink interact with the social conventions of eating, dining, and consuming in their respective time periods. Proposals that evaluate the mechanics of taste and the ways in which these mechanics engage with political life and discourses of identity (i.e. race, class, and gender) are also welcome. The goal of this panel is to showcase scholarship that complements and advances the gustatory turn in American art.
…pace Kerry James Marshall
Here’s the correct link:
Review of Kienholz’s work, including the important anti-racist installation of 1969-72,
Luxembourg performance artist Deborah de Robertis’ in dialogue with Manet: