Event

Camara Holloway, Association for Critical Race Art History, and Anne Monahan, Fashion Institute of Technology

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Dark Stars, Bright Ambitions: Black Celebrity in Jazz Age NY/LON, Camara Holloway

This paper examines the lives and careers of a group of black performers who were part of a transatlantic avant-garde network based on a New York and London axis. Relying on ephemeral evidence anchored by celebrity portraits and candid snapshots, Holloway considers how this circle negotiated public stardom unprecedented for African Americans as well as cultivating highly unconventional private lives that transgressed racial, gender and sexual norms.

Romare Bearden: Figure and Ground in the 1960s, Anne Monahan

At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Romare Bearden famously traded abstract painting for figurative collage and photomontage. The move set the course for the rest of his career and indexed a politics of style would construe representation--a nexus of the aesthetic, racial, and political--in increasingly literal terms as the decade progressed. In that light, this paper focuses his project’s resonance with 1930s aesthetics and activism and its culmination in his 1971 traveling retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.

Respondent: Korey Garibaldi, University of Notre Dame