Download PDF by Celeste-Marie Bernier: African American Visual Arts (British Association for

By Celeste-Marie Bernier

ISBN-10: 0748623566

ISBN-13: 9780748623563

ISBN-10: 0748630090

ISBN-13: 9780748630097

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Extra resources for African American Visual Arts (British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Paperbacks)

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Dave’s engraving of poetic text on jars ‘appears to be unique in the history of pottery’ (De Groft, 1998: 249). His couplets address common themes in African American visual arts including labour, history, slavery, identity, nationalism and religion. John Burrison’s argument that most of Dave’s couplets ‘relate directly to the pots themselves’ as they become ‘integrated with their medium’ overlooks how even his most descriptive couplets revel in his agency as an artist (Burrison, 1983: 339). These couplets not only offer advice concerning the use of his pots but also celebrate their ‘greatness’ and size – ‘Great and Noble jar/ Hold sheep, goat, or bear’ (13 May 1859) (in Patton, 1998: 64) and ‘A very large jar which has four handles/ pack it full of fresh meats – then light candles’ ‘the slave who paints’ 27 (1858.

Early African American daguerreotypists such as Ball and painters such as Edward M. Bannister sought to prove that ‘black is beautiful’, not only to white audiences familiar with dehumanising caricatures but also to black viewers, many of whom had internalised white racist standards. In Ball’s specific case, he refused to be restricted to themes of domesticity and financial success by repeatedly turning to feats of black activism. For example, he experimented with lighting techniques in an 1860s’ daguerreotype of Frederick Douglass to accentuate this freedom-fighter’s grey hair and lined face.

Her repetition across scenes of diminutive crosses, spherical stars, erect and prostrate grey and white bodies, panthers, deer, leopards, elephants, birds and 40 african american visual arts cockerels transgresses the boundaries of individual panels to blur relationships between the temptation of woman, the crucifixion of Christ, the tempting of Judas and the wrongdoing of Satan. Powers complicated her moral allegories by repeating motifs and symbols across these scenes to encourage audiences to search for their own spiritual message in her otherwise unresolved narratives.

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African American Visual Arts (British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Paperbacks) by Celeste-Marie Bernier


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