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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