African-American Art by Sharon F. PattonAfrican-American Art by Sharon F. Patton

African-American Art

bySharon F. Patton

Paperback | April 1, 1998

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African-American art has made an increasingly vital contribution to the art of the United States from the time of its origins in early-eighteenth-century slave communities. Folk and decorative arts such as ceramics, furniture, and quilts are discussed alongside fine art -- sculpture, painting,and photography -- produced by African Americans, both enslaved and free, throughout the nineteenth century. Twentieth-century developments are given full coverage, particularly the New Negro Movement of the 1920s, the Era of Civil Rights and Black Nationalism through the 1960s and 1970s, and theemergence of new black artists and theorists in the 1980s and 1990s. New evidence has provided an exciting myriad of perspectives about African-American art, confirming that it represents the culture and society from which it emerges. Professor Patton explores significant issues such as the relationship of art and politics, the influence of galleries and museums,the growth of black universities, critical theory, the impact of artists' collectives, and the assortment of art practices since the 1960s. African-American Art shows that in its cultural diversity and synthesis of cultures it mirrors those in American society as a whole. `African-American Art should be read by teachers, students, and writers, and on the shelves of every library. Professor Patton begins this impressive book with the slave ships that brought Africans to this country and gives evidence of the fine metalworking, carving, carpentry, basketry, weaving,and clay building skills passed from Africa through the works of valued but nameless slave-artisans. She tells how we learned accidentally about a few named artists like the slave, Scipio Moorhead, who in 1773 engraved the only surviving image of poet, Phyllis Wheatley. She describes theportraitists, furniture makers and highly skilled artisans. Sharon Patton follows a path leading from great African formal styles, which, mixed with the powerful expressive force of struggle and opposition, led to distinctive new ideasfrom the quilts of Harriet Powers in the late 1800s to thepaintings of Jean Michel Basquiat in the 1980s. She helps the reader to think and search for the evidence of the art-making skills that not only survived the Middle Passage, but the many erasings of the auction block and racism's lack, little and denial. In a fine survey of contemporaryAfrican-American art and ideascomplete with words from the artists themselvesPatton takes us first through its foundations and the through the movements, people and ideas that surrounded and generated this art. An art historian, curator, and scholar, Patton has produced a volume which, like noother, can be used both as an unusual reference book and a good read on an important part of American art. The illustrations are a special treat.' Emma Amos, Artist Professor of Art, Rutgers University `For a long period of time there has been an acknowledged need for a comprehensive text that integrates the full range of African American artistry, the building crafts, slave craftsmanship, the decorative and the fine arts tradition into one scholarly document. Professor Patton has brought thoseelements of history into her text that are often omitted in the available texts on the subject of African-American art and much of what she has written is primary information not previously recorded outside the context of social history. The cultural context in which Professor Patton has written accounts of the artistry of African-American artists and craftsmen from the period of American slavery to the present is illuminating, analytically sound, and well documented. She has brought to the attention of the reader a number oftopics such as 'Art Institutions and the Artist's Groups' that have not been thoroughly discussed in previous texts on the subject. A subject such as 'The Plantation House', the place where many decorative arts originated in the slave society is a welcomed addition to Professor Patton's historicaloverview.' David Driskell, Artist Distinguished University Professor of Art, University of Maryland `Sharon Patton has written a much needed text which surveys the broad scope of the history of African-American art from slavery to the present. She has followed a different tack, tracing art themes and their development throughout the history, rather than the influences of specific artists orperiods. Thus, she shows how ideas such as crafts, formal painting and sculpture, or architecture, co-existed with equal importance to the culture from the times of the Colonies. In so doing, she breaks down the barrier between folk and formal art, and articulates an interrelationship of bothconcepts to African-American people and their culture. Her book expands the framework for the visual arts in the United States in the last two centuries.' Professor Keith Morrison, Dean, College of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University
Sharon F. Patton is Director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan.
Title:African-American ArtFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.71 inPublished:April 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192842137

ISBN - 13:9780192842138

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Table of Contents

IntroductionChapter 1: Colonial America and the Young Republic 1700-1820:Introduction: The fight for independence 1775-83; Africa, North America, and African American CulturePlantations: Architecture and the plantation layout; Slave housesThe revival of African culture on the plantations: Life on the plantations; New European-American influencesA Planter's house in Louisiana - Plantation slave artists and craftsmen: Textiles and patchwork quilts; Folk art; PotteryUrban Slave Artists and Craftsmen: Furniture; Silversmiths; Fine artistsChapter 2: Nineteenth-Century America, The Civil War and Reconstruction:Introduction: The anti-slavery movement; Free black and slave artisans; Fine artistsArchitecture, the decorative arts, and folk art: Urban and rural Architecture; Furniture; Metalwork and woodcarving; Pottery; QuiltsFine arts: Painting, sculpture, and graphic arts: Exhibitions and the viewing public; Abolitionist patronage; Graphic arts; Landscape painting; Neoclassical sculpture; Genre and biblical paintingChapter 3: Twentieth-Century America and Modern Art 1900-60:Introduction: Civil rights and double-consciousness; The development of a modern American artAfrican-American culture, the New Negro and art in the 1920s: The Great Migration; The Jazz Age; Expatriates and Paris, the Negro colony; The New Negro movement; Photography; The New Negro artist; Graphic art; PaintingThe patronage of the New Negro ArtistState Funding and the Rise of African-American Art: The Federal Arts Project; The legacy of the New Negro movement: Negritude and figurative sculpture; Folk art; American Scene painting; African-American murals; WPA Workshops and community art centres; Social realism; Abstract art and modernism inNew York; Abstract figurative painting; Patronage and critical debateAmerican culture post World War II: Folk art; Painting: Expressionism and SurrealismAbstract Expressionism and African-American Art: Primitivism; Early Abstract Expressionism: Bearden, Woodruff, and Alston; Abstract Expressionism; Second generation of Abstract Expressionists 1955-61Chapter 4: Twentieth-Century America: The Evolution of a Black Aesthetic:Introduction: Civil rights and black nationalismCultural crisis: Black artist or American artist: Spiral artist's group 1964-66; PaintingThe evolution of a modern black aesthetic: Defining black art; Painting; SculptureArt institutions and the artists' groups: Mainstream art institutions; Black art aesthetics; Black art and black power; Black artists' groupsTowards a New Abstraction: Are you black enough?; Painting; SculptureThe Postmodern condition 1980-93: Painting; Video art; Sculpture; PhotographyConclusion, Notes, List of Illustrations, Bibliographic Essay, Timeline, Index

From Our Editors

From its origins in early 18th century slave communities to the end of the 20th century, African-American art has made a vital contribution to the art of the United States. This book provides a major reassessment of the subject, setting the art in the context of the African-American experience. 70 color illustrations. 5 linecuts

Editorial Reviews

`Sharon Patton has written a much needed text which surveys the broad scope of the history of African-American art from slavery to the present. She has followed a different tack, tracing art themes and their development throughout the history, rather than the influences of specific artists orperiods. Thus, she shows how ideas such as crafts, formal painting and sculpture, or architecture, co-existed with equal importance to the culture from the times of the Colonies. In so doing, she breaks down the barrier between folk and formal art, and articulates an interrelationship of bothconcepts to African-American people and their culture. Her book expands the framework for the visual arts in the United States in the last two centuries.'Professor Keith Morrison, Dean, College of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University