On the 10th of October 1935, George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess opened in the Alvin Theatre on Broadway, New York. A few years earlier, Singer Al Jolson attempted to musicalise the story starring as a comic blackface Porgy, his minstrel shows, an unacceptable racist concept nowadays. The Broadway opening was unprecedented in U.S. history due to […]
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.
“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.
On the 6th of March 1943, iconic painter and illustrator of American culture Norman Rockwell, published Freedom from Want or The Thanksgiving Picture in The Saturday Evening Post, one of over 300 covers he produced for the Indianapolis publication during his lifetime. It was the third of four oil paintings known as the Four Freedoms inspired by […]
On the 30th of January 1913, famous Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil was born to a Hungarian Jewish opera singer mother and a Punjabi Sikh aristocrat father in Budapest, Hungary. She trained at an early age at Santa Annunziata art school in Florence, then at 16 in Paris at Grande Chaumière under Pierre Vaillant and Lucien […]
The Association of Critical Race Art History (ACRAH) is excited to announce a new feature on our website: a bibliographic resource devoted to issues of race, ethnicity, art, and visual culture. Please visit Bibliographies to view.
In conjunction with the launch of this resource, a series of reading groups are being organized in New York, the Bay Area, Washington D.C., and Boston. The primary purpose of these groups are to give area scholars an opportunity to discuss key texts pertaining to the visualization and representation of races and the project of racialization in art and visual culture. If you are interested in participating in an established group, or would like to start a group in your area, please visit Reading Groups for additional information.
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 […]
Check out @hyperallergic’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/hyperallergic/status/813744006114971648?s=09
New Digital Project: First Blacks in the Americas:
LINK: “I can’t believe we were publishing this in 1973!”