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.

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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

Black Activism & Photography from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement (Sept. 17, 2016, BAMPFA, Berkeley, CA)

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Photo of Makeda D. Best, Ph.D.(www.bampfa.org)

When Sojourner Truth declared that she sold the “shadow” (photographic portraits of herself) to support the “substance” (the causes of abolition and the rights of women), she recognized the power of images to shape opinion and create economic value. How did the former slave strategically deploy and circulate photography as a form of political activism? Join a conversation with UC Berkeley professors Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby (History of Art) and Leigh Raiford (African American Studies) and photographer/photography historian Makeda Best of the California College of the Arts on the uses to which photography has been put in the African American struggle for political change.

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley. Grigsby specializes in eighteenth- through early twentieth-century French and American art and visual and material culture, particularly in relation to the politics of race, slavery, and colonialism. She is the author of three books: Extremities: Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (2002); Colossal: Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal(2012); and Enduring Truths: Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance(2015).

Leigh Raiford is associate professor of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. She is the author of Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (2011).

Makeda Best, assistant professor in Visual Studies at the California College of the Arts, is an historian of photography. She is currently revising a book on the Civil War–era photographer Alexander Gardner, and coediting a volume titled Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art.

 

See: BAMPFA Roundtable Discussion

 

All Power to the People: Black Panthers @50: Exhibition, Anniversary Commemoration, and Symposium (Fall 2016) at the Oakland Museum of California

The Panthers, in more ways than one, sought to visualize racial identity. Their model continues to inform new movements across the globe.

Revolutionary Art (circa 1969) by Emory Douglas, Black Panther Minister of Culture, Oakland, CA.

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See: Black Panther exhibition and programs at OMCA

Summertime — Genealogy Time

Art historian and visual cultural studies scholar Judith Wilson has brought our attention to the exhibition of a black woman’s portrait at the Middlesex County Historical Society in Connecticut.

This unattributed pastel on paper image (circa 1904) depicts Anna M. Warmsley (circa 1870s/1880s-1944). Warmsley (née Steadman [sp?]) lived in Middletown, Conn.

Judith saw Carla Halloway’s Facebook posting about this portrait last week. Ms. Halloway of East Hartford, Connecticut wrote that the portrait had been “rescued from the trash” and given to the historical society.

Ms. Halloway’s post generated a lively FB discussion, including comments from a descendant of Anna Warmsley and her husband Herbert Elmer Warmsley (1878/1881-1954). The historical society also has a portrait of Herbert Warmsley.

In  online public records (US Federal Census, etc.) and others on ancestry.com, the Warmsley’s family name sometimes appears as “Warmesley.” In early records, Anna is termed a “Negro” and Herbert, whose listed profession was a “galvanizer” in a foundry, a “mulatto.” Anna was a housekeeper for “a private family. She married Herbert when she was about 21. (No marriage certificate appears online. But the US Federal Census of 1910 states that they had been married for five years.)

Who might have painted the Warmsley couple around 1904? They were people of some means and were respected in their community. Did they commission their portraits? White or other non-black artists may have taken up this job. And what about the possibility that the portraits were done by one of the several East Coast artists of color whose names and works we know today?

John G. (Gwynne) Chaplin (1828-1907) worked in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and painted representational mythological and Biblical themes, and portraits. A man of mixed ethnicity–European-American and African-American–Chaplin traveled to Germany and had a studio in Dusseldorf before returning to the US to settle in Youngstown, Pennsylvania. (The actor Charlie Chaplin [1889-1977] was once told that he was related to the artist Chaplin.)

Black Hartford native Nelson E. Primus (1842-1916) made his reputation as a portraitist. But he moved to San Francisco in 1895, so it seems unlikely that he painted the Warmsleys.

Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923) was a black artist from Hartford. Porter’s still lifes and realist landscapes were admired in the late 19th and early 20th century, and they’re sought after now by collectors of African-American artists’ production. His brushy style seems quite different from the linear approach of the Warmsley portrait. Sounds like a good time to return to the monograph exhibition catalogues on Porter by Helen Krieble et al. (1987) and the New Britain Museum of American Art (2008).

Annie E.A. Walker (1855-1929) was born in Brooklyn, and appears to have spent her younger years in Alabama and in Dallas, Texas. She studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and graduated from the Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1895. (See this account of her Cooper Union years.) Afterward, she traveled to France and studied at the Academie Julian in Paris for several years. Her best known work is the Salon-exhibited pastel on paper called  La Parisienne (Howard University Art Gallery). She returned the US in the first decade of the 20th century and worked in Washington, DC. Her career and activities were researched by James V. Herring (1942), James A. Porter (1967), Lowery Sims (1978), Andrew Cosentino and Henry H. Glassie (1983), Tritobia Hayes Benjamin (1993), and others. Yet Walker is an artist about whom we don’t know enough. Works are attributed to her here and there, including in some files I haven’t looked at in years. Time to blow the dust off those. More to come…

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Call for Papers: The Missing Chapter conference at the National Portrait Gallery/London, October 21, 2016

Call for papers: deadline Friday, July 22, 2016.

22_NPG_Black_ChroniclesBlack Chronicles at the National Portrait Gallery. Installation photo: Zoe Maxwell at Autograph-apb.co.uk 

Call for Paper Abstracts: August Wilson Society Conference (June 30, 2016 deadline)

August Wilson Society Paper Abstracts information

 

Call for Abstracts

Call for Research

From Art Historian and Critic Judith Wilson-Paes:

Somebody needs to research a book/ organize an exhibition on the West’s black community photographers–i.e., Oakland’s E.F. Joseph, San Francisco’s David Johnson, and the two LA women photojournalists who are in Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s book on black women photographers.

These California photographers are our Van Der Zees and W.S. Robertses in the western US. And as Joy Byrd’s Facebook post makes clear, they documented a little-known chapter of African American history–the flowering of 20th-c. West Coast black communities.

JOB: Adjunct Faculty @ Tyler School of Art

Tyler School of Art is hiring adjunct faculty for fall 2016 and spring 2017 to teach Race, Identity, and Experience in American Art, a general education (Gen Ed) race and diversity class, typically taught by art historians but open to instructors in related fields or fine arts.

See more about the Gen Ed program here:  http://gened.temple.edu/
and Tyler School of Art here: http://tyler.temple.edu/#/prospective

More immediately, we plan to offer two online sections of this course this Summer I (class start date May 9) and welcome applications by instructors interested in building a teaching portfolio which includes online experience.  Additional professional development funds are available immediately for instructors who would teach online this summer and work in advance to develop the online iteration of this class.

Please send email of interest and CV to Jennifer Zarro at jzarro@temple.edu

 

CONF: Black Portraiture Revisited II – Feb. 19-20, 2016 @NYU

See Black Portraiture Conference @NYU Feb. 2016