Art and the Black Body: The Reckoning of Museums

It is by no means a new revelation that so much of Western art history was built and founded on the backs of Black and enslaved bodies. Whether it is in the way artists and patrons utilized their slaves’ bodies as accessories in paintings, the enslaved labor that provided profit for wealthy slave owners toContinue reading “Art and the Black Body: The Reckoning of Museums”

Reframing History: Chen Shu 陳書

Chen Shu (1660-1735) was born into an elite family in Jiaxing, China and was the daughter of an artist. This allowed her to study painting as a young girl, despite the mixed feelings about women’s education at the time that kept only a few women of the elite from pursuing an education. Chen Shu studiedContinue reading “Reframing History: Chen Shu 陳書”

Exhibition Visit: Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to museums has been extremely limited. As museums reopen, we look forward to sharing our favorite exhibitions from around the Washington DC area and beyond. The National Museum of Women in the Arts recently opened their new exhibition, “Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend.” This is the first fullContinue reading “Exhibition Visit: Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend”

Reframing History: Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence

Alessandro de’ Medici was the first Duke of the Florence from 1532 to his death in 1537. Alessandro was the last of the senior line of the Medici family to lead Florence, recognized as the only son of Lorenzo II de’ Medici (the grandson of Lorenzo the Great). Yet, there are many questions about whoContinue reading “Reframing History: Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence”

Reframing History: Juan de Pareja

Juan de Pareja (c. 1606-1670) was born into slavery in Antequera, near Malaga, Spain. He was the son of an enslaved African woman and a white Spanish father. He was typically described as a “morisco,” meaning of mixed parentage and unusual color. While this may refer to his mixed race heritage, it may also referContinue reading “Reframing History: Juan de Pareja”

Educators, Museums, and Racism

by Shereka Mosley Much of the conversation over the last few months about the role educators and museums play in racism has made me reflect on the many questions and inspirations I had when researching and writing my thesis, Person, Object, and Aesthetic: Black Africans in European Art, 1300-1700. Often, history is a study inContinue reading “Educators, Museums, and Racism”