African American Art: Suggested Books

with an emphasis on representational art


African Americans in Visual Arts: A Historical Perspective, By Melvin R. Sylvester, Long Island University, 2005

A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present, By Romare Bearden, Harry Henderson. Pantheon, 1993. Amazon says: "A landmark work of art history: lavishly illustrated and extraordinary for its thoroughness, A History of African-American Artists -- conceived, researched, and written by the great American artist Romare Bearden with journalist Harry Henderson, who completed the work after Bearden's death in 1988 -- gives a conspectus of African-American art from the late eighteenth century to the present. It examines the lives and careers of more than fifty signal African-American artists, and the relation of their work to prevailing artistic, social, and political trends both in America and throughout the world."

An Ocean Apart : American Artists Abroad, the catalog of an exhibition held October 8,1982-January 9, 1983 at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Published by Studio Museum in Harlem.

Collecting African American Art: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, By John Hope Franklin and Alvia J. Wardlaw. 2009

Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800-1950, By David C. Driskell. Consortium Book Sales & Distribution,1989

The Other Side of Color: African American Art in the Collection of Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr., By David C. Driskell. Pomegranate, 2001

Selections of Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Art, By Regenia A. Perry, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972.

Two Centuries of Black American Art, By David C Driskell, distributed by Random House. 1976 exhibition catalog for exhibit held at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, the Brooklyn Museum has a feature that allows people on the Web to read text inside books. To use this feature, search in "books," entering title of a book or other keywords. When a book is retrieved it may have the "Search Inside" feature allowing the reader to read sample pages of the book selected, which may include color images of the front cover, front flap, table of contents, excerpt such as the introduction chapter, alphabetical index, back flap and back cover. Also, some books have a word search feature, which enables registered individuals to search inside the books and pull up individual pages containing the selected words. An search within "books" conducted March 24, 2008 located 1,363 pages with the search phrase "African American art." Many of the books offer a "Search Inside" feature.

Google announced in 2004 a collaboration with institutional libraries to digitize large quantities of books: the Google Books Library Project. Public domain books are available on a full view open access basis. Copyrighted material is treated in one of three ways. Google negotiates with cooperating publishers through its Google Books Partner Program for "Limited Preview" of entire pages or sections within books by readers. For scanned books without copyright permissions, "snippets" are available. For remaining books basic information is provided without ability to search within the book. The snippets inform readers about the relevance of the book to their subject of inquiry. A Google Book Search conducted April 26, 2008 located 695 books featuring either full view or Limited Preview with the search phrase "African American art." Books with "Limited Preview" included:

African-American Art, By Sharon F. Patton. Published 1998 by Oxford University Press. 319 pages. ISBN:0192842137. Google Books says: "From its origins in early eighteenth century slave communities to the end of the twentieth century, African-American art has made a vital contribution to the art of the United States. African-American Art provides a major reassessment of the subject, setting the art in the context of the African-American experience. Here, Patton discusses folk and decorative arts such as ceramics, furniture, and quilts alongside fine art, sculptures, paintings, and photography during the 1800s. She also examines the New Negro Movement of the 1920s, the era of Civil Rights and Black Nationalism during the 1960s and 70s, and the emergence of new black artists and theorists in the 1980s and 90s. New evidence suggests different ways of looking at African-American art, confirming that it represents the culture and society from which it emerges. Here, 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." Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here.(right: front cover, African-American Art, image courtesy Google Books)

African American Art and Artists, By Samella S. Lewis. Published 2003 by University of California Press. 340 pages. ISBN:0520239350. Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here.(left: front cover, African American Art and Artists, image courtesy Google Books)


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