The Image of the Black in Western Art

(Associate Editor) (Editor)
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Product Details

Belknap Press
Publish Date
10.06 X 11.38 X 1.17 inches | 4.9 pounds

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About the Author

David Bindman is emeritus Durning-Lawrence professor of the history of art at University College London. He is currently a fellow of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University, and he was a visiting professor of history of art at Harvard, 2011-2017. His publications include Blake as an Artist, Hogarth and His Times: Serious Comedy, Ape to Apollo: Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the 18th Century. Since 2006, he has been the editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of the Image of the Black in Western Art series, in twelve volumes so far.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies, and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American research at Harvard University. Among his many books are Colored People: A Memoir and Wonders of the African World. He won an American Book Award in 1989 for The Signifying Monkey.
Frank M. Snowden, Jr., was Professor of Classics, Emeritus, at Howard University.
Jehan Desanges Agrege de grammaire (1953), apres onze ans passes en Afrique du Nord et au Senegal, il enseigne vingt ans a l'Universite de Nantes (1964-1984) et vingt-cinq ans a la IVe Section de l'Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes (1978-2003, Histoire de l'Afrique dans le monde greco-romain). Depuis 2012, il est membre de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.Sa bibliographie, dont le premier titre date de 1956, porte tant sur l'Afrique du Nord que sur l'Afrique nilotique et erythreenne dans l'Antiquite. Il a oriente ses recherches vers les structures tribales et les revoltes autochtones tout comme les campagnes militaires et expeditions lointaines menees par les Lagides et les Romains. Il s'est de plus adonne a l'etude de la geographie historique et de la toponymie comme a celle du peuplement (en particulier le peuplement dit ethiopien) ou des structures et decoupages administratifs. Il a etabli des editions critiques et commentees ou, au moins, des etudes minutieuses de sources essentielles de l'Afrique antique, notamment celle du livre VI de l'Histoire naturelle de Pline l'Ancien dans la collection des Universite de France.Benoit Laudenbach Agrege de Lettres classiques (2003) et docteur en Etudes grecques de l'Universite Paris-Sorbonne (2012), Benoit Laudenbach est actuellement professeur dans le secondaire. Helleniste et papyrologue de formation, toutes ses recherches universitaires se sont orientees sur l'edition critique et la traduction de textes et documents grecs (Les lettres de Chion d'Heraclee, traduction et commentaire, Universite Rennes II; Les Epigrammes de Posidippe de Pella (P. Mil. Vogl. VIII 309), critique de l'editio princeps, traduction, commentaire, Universite de Strasbourg; Mondes nilotique et libyque: Strabon, Geographie, XVII, Universite Paris-Sorbonne). Le present volume est le resultat d'une partie de sa these consacree au livre XVII de la Geographie de Strabon.


The volumes so far are a treasury of paintings and sculptures of people down the ages, taking in many strands of ritual, classicism, artlessness and humanity.--William Feaver"Spectator" (12/18/2010)
A fascinating story of the changing image of Africa's people in Western art. The images are simply extraordinary and the scholarship inspiring. Anyone who cares about Western art or about Africa and her diaspora ought to know these magnificent volumes.--Kwame Anthony Appiah
In addition to being an indispensable guide to the evolving meanings of racial difference, these dazzling volumes filled with extraordinary images and rich arguments contribute to an alternative history of the Western world. An invaluable gift for both specialists and general readers.--Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness
One of the most thorough collections depicting the African-American in works of art...The books build on the research and photo project started by art patron Dominique de Menil in the 1960s, which grew out of a frustration with segregation. The collection was then transferred and continued to grow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. De Menil's original volumes have been updated by David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates Jr. and now include more detailed descriptions and provide a larger context of the artwork that spans more than 5,000 years, including the Roman Empire to present-day pieces, filling in tremendous gaps in de Menil's collection, according to some art historians. The images, printed in full-color on high-quality pages, are available for the masses to see and understand how African-Americans not only fit into the various societies of the Western world, but how those relationships evolved throughout the ages.-- (09/15/2010)
A sumptuous new edition with much additional material and copious color pictures....The books are a wonderful resource: a glitteringly decorated window into the Du Bois Institute's unrivalled archive of relevant images. The accompanying essays, which are models of erudition, are inescapable reading for anyone interested in the subject.-- (04/17/2011)
In his fresh introduction for volume 1, Jeremy Tanner, Greek and Roman art/archaeology specialist, recontextualizes the text and images in the original volume of this work in light of the explosion of scholarship examining the notions of race and identity as constructed historically and in the present. Tanner's well-researched, critical essay offers a rich bibliography of the literature on the subject of race and representation in ancient art...The high-quality color images that have replaced black-and-white images, and the more richly textured black-and-white images, all printed on good quality art stock paper, help to reinforce arguments where color symbolism is deemed critically important.-- (10/01/2011)
Monumental and groundbreaking volumes...[with] beautifully reproduced and thought-provoking images...A vast array of different "Images of the Black" appear in these volumes, from statues of black saints such as St. Maurice or St. Benedict the Moor, to portraits of notable African ambassadors and kings, poets and musicians, or drawings of literary characters such as Shakespeare's Othello, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, or Yarico from George Colman's Inkle and Yarico...Africans have been painted and sculpted by some of the most eminent artists in the Western tradition, including Titian, Tiepolo, Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Hogarth, Watteau and Gainsborough. More importantly, they have not been caricatured, but sensitively portrayed by these masters, their humanity captured on canvas for all to see...In placing such a vast variety of different images together, both positive and negative, these volumes show that the "Image of the Black" was not at all homogenous but rather reflected the wide range of the Western response to the "other...".Seen through the prism of "Western Art," these "Images of the Black" often tell us more about the Europeans and their agendas than the Africans they portray. Nonetheless, the cumulative effect of the images is to demonstrate a continuous black presence in the Western imagination and experience...This series will pose new questions to scholars of art, history and literature and provoke us all to reconsider the role of "the Black" in Western civilization.-- (03/23/2012)