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Creating their own image : the history of African-American women artists

Author: Lisa E Farrington
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Creating Their Own Image marks the first comprehensive history of African-American women artists, from slavery to the present day. Using an analysis of stereotypes of Africans and African-Americans in western art and culture as a springboard, Lisa E. Farrington here richly details hundreds of important works--many of which deliberately challenge these same identity myths, of the carnal Jezebel, the asexual Mammy,
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lisa E Farrington
ISBN: 9780199767601 0199767602
OCLC Number: 712600445
Notes: Originally published: 2005. First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback, 2011.
Awards: Winner of Winner, 2005 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians BCALA Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Award from the American Library Association Finalist, Non-Fiction at the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Non-fiction.
Description: 354 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 28 cm
Contents: The image --
Creativity and the era of slavery --
The nineteenth-century professional vanguard --
The Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro --
The New Negro and the New Deal --
Civil rights and Black power --
Black feminist art --
Abstract explorations --
Conceptualism: art as idea --
Vernacular artists: against the odds --
Postmodern pluralism --
"Post-black" art and the new millennium.
Responsibility: Lisa E. Farrington.

Abstract:

Creating Their Own Image marks the first comprehensive history of African-American women artists, from slavery to the present day. Using an analysis of stereotypes of Africans and African-Americans in western art and culture as a springboard, Lisa E. Farrington here richly details hundreds of important works--many of which deliberately challenge these same identity myths, of the carnal Jezebel, the asexual Mammy, the imperious Matriarch--in crafting a portrait of artistic creativity unprecedented in its scope and ambition. In these lavishly illustrated pages, some of which feature images never before published, we learn of the efforts of Elizabeth Keckley, fashion designer to Mary Todd Lincoln; the acclaimed sculptor Edmonia Lewis, internationally renowned for her neoclassical works in marble; and the artist Nancy Elizabeth Prophet and her innovative teaching techniques. We meet Laura Wheeler Waring who portrayed women of color as members of a socially elite class in stark contrast to the prevalent images of compliant maids, impoverished malcontents, and exotic "others" that proliferated in the inter-war period. We read of the painter Barbara Jones-Hogu's collaboration on the famed Wall of Respect, even as we view a rare photograph of Hogu in the process of painting the mural. Farrington expertly guides us through the fertile period of the Harlem Renaissance and the "New Negro Movement," which produced an entirely new crop of artists who consciously imbued their work with a social and political agenda, and through the tumultuous, explosive years of the civil rights movement.

Drawing on revealing interviews with numerous contemporary artists, such as Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, Nanette Carter, Camille Billops, Xenobia Bailey, and many others, the second half of Creating Their Own Image probes more recent stylistic developments, such as abstraction, conceptualism, and post-modernism, never losing sight of the struggles and challenges that have consistently influenced this body of work. Weaving together an expansive collection of artists, styles, and periods, Farrington argues that for centuries African-American women artists have created an alternative vision of how women of color can, are, and might be represented in American culture. From utilitarian objects such as quilts and baskets to a wide array of fine arts, Creating Their Own Image serves up compelling evidence of the fundamental human need to convey one's life, one's emotions, one's experiences, on a canvas of one's own making.--From publisher description.

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Farrington gives the reader a layered narrative and a dazzling array of artworks.... It is the kind of book anyone interested in art, women's art, or African American art will want to own and refer Read more...

 
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