Presidential Corpus: Politics of the Black Body

March 27, 2010

Free and open to the public

Using Ulysses Davis’s series of presidential portrait busts as a point of departure, art historian Amy Mooney will explore the politics of black representation in art and visual culture from the 19 th to 21 st centuries. From the recent controversy over Sheppard Fairey’s depiction of President Obama to the stereotypes found in Sigmund Krausz’s 1896 publication of Street Types of Great American Cities, Dr. Mooney will consider the ways in which U.S. social institutions employed the black image as a means of furthering opposing political agendas of uplift and oppression. Sharing an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Portraits of Noteworthy Character, Dr. Mooney will present the historic framework that continues to inform our expectations of representation. Dr. Mooney is Associate Professor of Art History, Visual Culture, & Critical Theory at Columbia College in Chicago.