What does diversity look like?

Photo of Mary Seacole by Maull & Company (c. 1873). Photographer’s name not known. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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?”

Amy Fleming, “Sculptor Defends His Mary Seacole Statue–‘If She Was White, Would There Be This Resistance,'” THE GUARDIAN, Jun. 21, 2016

Patrick Vernon, “Rubbishing Mary Seacole Is Another Move to Hide the Contributions of Black People,” THE GUARDIAN, Jun. 21, 2016

Patrick Usborne, “Mary Seacole v. Florence Nightingale: Who Should Have the Taller Statue?” THE GUARDIAN, Jun. 20, 2016

Jonathan Jones, “So Many Causes, So Many Heroes: Why Defame Them with a Statue?” THE GUARDIAN, May 11, 2016

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.


Inge Hardison’s Realist Sculpture– ” more in-depth scholarship needed”

37343216_1_x“A Sculptor of Black Heroes Leaves a Legacy”



Disabled artists use their skills to highlight ‘shoddy and cruel’ treatment over benefits | Society | The Guardian


Harvard Law Drops Slaveholder’s Crest


The Met’s New Outpost & What All Artists Want. . .

…pace Kerry James Marshall


Randy Kennedy, “Introducing Art’s Past to Its Future”

“How Advocates of African American Art Are Advancing Racial Equality in the Art World”

See: ARTSY, Jan. 12, 2016

Live: Conversations about Race at Stanford

Tomorrow (Nov. 19, 2015) starts at 12:30 PM Pacific

The first half of the symposium will feature a conversation from 12:30 to 2 pm PST about Policing, Mass Incarceration & Racial Justice with Mychal Denzel Smith (The Nation), Rinku Sen (Colorlines), Isabel Garcia (Derechos Humanos) and Reverend Osagyefo Sekou (Fellowship of Reconciliation & King Research and Education Institute). Moderated by H. Samy Alim.

The second half of the symposium will feature a conversation from 2:30 to 4 pm PST about The Arts, Racial Justice & Cultural Equity with Favianna Rodriguez (CultureStr/ke), Jasiri X (1Hood), Jonathan Calm (Stanford Department of Art & Art History), Deborah Cullinan (Yerba Buena Center for The Arts), and Rita Gonzalez (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Moderated by Jeff Chang.
Here’s the URL again:

DC-based Contemporary Abstract Artist Joyce Wellman featured on Maryland Public TV’s ARTWORKS Program

For more info, go to:

Joyce Wellman on ARTWORKS, Aug. 20, 2015

About Joyce Wellman

NEWS: Recap of Race & Aesthetics Conference @ Leeds Art Gallery, UK, May 2015

Race & Aesthetics: A British Society of Aesthetics Connections Conference ran the 19th and 20th of May, at the Leeds Art Gallery. Fourteen speakers and several dozen more participants gathered to share thoughts on any of the points of intersection between the philosophies of race and aesthetics. Topics ranged from sexual attraction to humour to Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B. In what follows, I’ll try to present short but effective summaries of each of the conference talks.


How Africa Means in Visual Culture

Prince Harry and the herdsman: can we really fall for this imperial hokum?


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