African-American Art: Visual & Cultural History

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By Lisa Farrington

African-American Art: A Visual and Cultural History offers a current and comprehensive history that contextualizes black artists within the framework of American art as a whole. The first chronological survey covering all art forms from colonial times to the present to publish in over a decade, it explores issues of racial identity and representation in artistic expression, while also emphasizing aesthetics and visual analysis to help students develop an understanding and appreciation of African-American art that is informed but not entirely defined by racial identity. Through a carefully selected collection of creative works and accompanying analyses, the text also addresses crucial gaps in the scholarly literature, incorporating women artists from the beginning and including coverage of photography, crafts, and architecture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as twenty-first century developments. All in all, African American Art: A Visual and Cultural History offers a fresh and compelling look at the great variety of artistic expression found in the African-American community.

Paperback, 480 pages

Dimensions: 7 x 10 x 1.25 inches, 230 illustrations

About the Author:
Lisa Farrington is the founding Chair of the Art & Music Department at the City University of New York's John Jay College. She is the author of Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists.

"African-American Art integrates styles and artists within the visual culture of the times in which they were created. This allows readers to gain new insights into the way these artists tried to advance their work beyond racial constrictions, labeling, and expectations. As the first new survey of African-American art published in fifteen years, it is certainly welcome in my course." —  Naurice Frank Woods, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

"This book will open students' eyes to an incredible range of material and give them a sense of the possibilities for future research. It couches all of this within a highly sophisticated and contemporary methodological framework. African-American Art features more African-American female artists than any previous survey. It engages with traditionally marginalized artistic expressions like architecture. And perhaps, most importantly, it sustains an effort to situate African-American art within mainstream artistic movements so as to critique the very use of 'race' as a methodological framework for African-American art." — Paul B. Niell, University of North Texas