The Image of the Black in Western Art Volumes republished by Harvard

The Image of the Black in Western Art (IBWA) Research Project and Photo Archive[1] is a pioneering research initiative that has sought to document  the African presence in Western European art. It began in 1960 by Jean and Dominique de Menil, as a counteraction to the continuing existence of segregation in the United States, the archive contains photographs of approximately 30,000 works of art, and spanning nearly 5,000 years. The first 50 years of the project’s existence focused on the production of a four-volume series of generously illustrated books. These fundamental studies in the overarching themes associated with this imagery have provided access to invaluable images and sources for the promotion of scholarship in this area of iconography. The W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University is now currently republishing the IBWA series, completing Part 3 with 3 news volumes. They are being edited by Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.(Harvard University) and Professor David Bindman (University College London). Watch THIS VIDEO to hear Professor Gates talking about the archive and its work.

See Also: M. Victor Leventritt Symposium on The Image of the Black of Western Art


[1] There are two ‘copies’ of the archive. One is located in the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and the other at the Warburg Institute in London.

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