The Image of the Black in Western Art: From the Pharaohs to the fall of the Roman Empire

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David Bindman, Henry Louis Gates, Karen C. C. Dalton
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010 - Art - 391 pages
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In the 1960s, as a response to segregation in the United States, the influential art patron Dominique de Menil began a research project and photo archive called The Image of the Black in Western Art. Now, fifty years later, as the first American president of African American descent occupies his historic term in office, her mission has been re-invigorated through the collaboration of Harvard University Press and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute to present new editions of the coveted five original books and the anticipated first part of a new volume. The completed set will include ten sumptuous books in five volumes with up-to-date introductions and more full-color illustrations, printed on high-quality art stock for books that will last a lifetime.

This monumental publication offers expert commentary and a lavishly illustrated history of the representations of people of African descent ranging from the ancient images of Pharaohs created by unknown hands to the works of the great European masters such as Bosch, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Hogarth to stunning new creations by contemporary black artists. Including thousands of beautiful, moving, and often little-known images of black people, including queens and slaves, saints and soldiers, children and gods, The Image of the Black in Western Art provides a treasury of masterpieces from four millennia—a testament to the black experience in the West and a tribute to art’s enduring power to shape our common humanity.

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About the author (2010)

David Bindman is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at University College London.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was born on September 16, 1950, in Keyser, West Virginia. He received a degree in history from Yale University in 1973 and a Ph.D. from Clare College, which is part of the University of Cambridge in 1979. He is a leading scholar of African-American literature, history, and culture. He began working on the Black Periodical Literature Project, which uncovered lost literary works published in 1800s. He rediscovered what is believed to be the first novel published by an African-American in the United States. He republished the 1859 work by Harriet E. Wilson, entitled Our Nig, in 1983. He has written numerous books including Colored People: A Memoir, A Chronology of African-American History, The Future of the Race, Black Literature and Literary Theory, and The Signifying Monkey: Towards a Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. In 1991, he became the head of the African-American studies department at Harvard University. He is now the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at the university. He wrote and produced several documentaries including Wonders of the African World, America Beyond the Color Line, and African American Lives. He has also hosted PBS programs such as Wonders of the African World, Black in Latin America, and Finding Your Roots.