The Art of Remembering: Essays on African American Art and History (Paperback)
In The Art of Remembering art historian and curator Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw explores African American art and representation from the height of the British colonial period to the present. She engages in the process of "rememory"--the recovery of facts and narratives of African American creativity and self-representation that have been purposefully set aside, actively ignored, and disremembered. In analyses of the work of artists ranging from Scipio Moorhead, Moses Williams, and Aaron Douglas to Barbara Chase-Riboud, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, and Deana Lawson, Shaw demonstrates that African American art and history may be remembered and understood anew through a process of intensive close looking, cultural and historical contextualization, and biographic recuperation or consideration. Shaw shows how embracing rememory expands the possibilities of history by acknowledging the existence of multiple forms of knowledge and ways of understanding an event or interpreting an object. In so doing, Shaw thinks beyond canonical interpretations of art and material and visual culture to imagine "what if," asking what else did we once know that has been lost.
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw is Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, author of Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker, also published by Duke University Press, and Portraits of a People: Picturing African Americans in the Nineteenth Century.