New Book | Enslaved: The Sunken History

Posted in books by Editor on March 23, 2023

From Simon & Schuster:

Sean Kingsley and Simcha Jacobovici, with a preface by Brenda Jones, Enslaved: The Sunken History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (New York: Pegasus Books, 2023), 336 pages, ISBN: ‎978-1639362387, $29.

From the writers behind the acclaimed documentary series Enslaved (starring Samuel L. Jackson), comes a rich and revealing narrative of the true global and human scope of the transatlantic slave trade. The trade existed for 400 years, during which 12 million people were trafficked, and 2 million would die en route.

In these pages we meet the remarkable group, Diving with a Purpose (DWP), as they dive sunken slave ships all around the world. They search for remains and artifacts testifying to the millions of kidnapped Africans that were transported to Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. From manilla bracelets to shackles, cargo, and other possessions, the finds from these wrecks bring the stories of lost lives back to the surface.

As we follow the men and women of DWP across eleven countries, Jacobovici and Kingsley’s rich research puts the archaeology and history of these wrecks that lost between 1670 to 1858 in vivid context. From the ports of Gold Coast Africa, to the corporate hubs of trading companies of England, Portugal and the Netherlands, and the final destinations in the New World, Jacobovici and Kingsley show how the slave trade touched every nation and every society on earth.

Though global in scope, Enslaved makes history personal as we experience the divers’ sadness, anger, reverence, and awe as they hold tangible pieces of their ancestors’ world in their hands. What those people suffered on board those ships can never be forgiven. Enslaved works to ensure that it will always be remembered and understood, and is the first book to tell the story of the transatlantic slave trade from the bottom of the sea.

Sean Kingsley is a marine archaeologist who has explored over 350 wrecks from Israel to America. Off the UK he identified the world’s earliest Royal African Company English ‘slaver’ ship. Dr. Kingsley writes for National Geographic and is the founder of Wreckwatch Magazine about the world’s sunken wonders.

Simcha Jacobovici is a three-time Emmy winning Israeli/Canadian filmmaker, New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally acclaimed journalist. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Huntington University in Ontario. Jacobovici was Showrunner/Director of the 6-part series Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, for which he has received numerous awards including two NAACP Image Award nominations. Enslaved is his fourth book. He divides his time between Toronto and Israel.

New Book | The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley

Posted in books by Editor on March 23, 2023

From Macmillan:

David Waldstreicher, The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet’s Journeys through American Slavery and Independence (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023), 496 pages, ISBN: ‎ 978-0809098248, $30.

A paradigm-shattering biography of Phillis Wheatley, whose extraordinary poetry set African American literature at the heart of the American Revolution.

book coverAdmired by George Washington, ridiculed by Thomas Jefferson, published in London, and read far and wide, Phillis Wheatley led one of the most extraordinary American lives. Seized in West Africa and forced into slavery as a child, she was sold to a merchant family in Boston, where she became a noted poet at a young age. Mastering the Bible, Greek and Latin translations, and the works of Pope and Milton, she composed elegies for local elites, celebrated political events, praised warriors, and used her verse to variously lampoon, question, and assert the injustice of her enslaved condition. “Can I then but pray / Others may never feel tyrannic sway?” By doing so, she added her voice to a vibrant, multisided conversation about race, slavery, and discontent with British rule; before and after her emancipation, her verses shook up racial etiquette and used familiar forms to create bold new meanings. She demonstrated a complex but crucial fact of the times: that the American Revolution both strengthened and limited Black slavery. In this new biography, the historian David Waldstreicher offers the fullest account to date of Wheatley’s life and works, correcting myths, reconstructing intimate friendships, and deepening our understanding of her verse and the revolutionary era. Throughout The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley, he demonstrates the continued vitality and resonance of a woman who wrote, in a founding gesture of American literature, “Thy Power, O Liberty, makes strong the weak / And (wond’rous instinct) Ethiopians speak.”

David Waldstreicher teaches history at the City University of New York Graduate Center and is the author of Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification and Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, Boston Review, and The Atlantic, among other publications.

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From Jennifer Schuessler’s review for The NY Times:

Jennifer Schuessler, “A Fresh Look at a Pioneering Black Voice of Revolutionary America,” The New York Times (2 March 2023). A new biography places the poet Phillis Wheatley in her own time — and in the middle of the current hot debate about the American Revolution and slavery.

. . . Waldstreicher, who teaches at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is known for deeply researched, tightly written studies, which aim to complicate any comforting idealization of the founding. . . .

His books (which include a study of Ben Franklin and slavery) and his blunt intellectual style haven’t always made him popular. Some traditionalists in the field, he said tartly, prefer to “pretend I don’t exist.”

Waldstreicher is also a longtime scourge of “Founders’ Chic,” as historians refer to reverential best sellers extolling the character of the founders (often by exaggerating their opposition to slavery). But his new book, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is itself a founder biography of sorts, treating Wheatley not only as the progenitor of the African American literary tradition but an important political voice in the creation of the nation itself. . . .

New Book | Scripts of Blackness

Posted in books, reviews by Editor on March 23, 2023

From Penn Press—and see Ellen Welch’s recent review for Journal18 . . .

Noémie Ndiaye, Scripts of Blackness: Early Modern Performance Culture and the Making of Race (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022), 376 pages, ISBN: 978-1512822632, $65. RaceB4Race: Critical Race Studies of the Premodern series

Book cover with visual reference to a costume print by Henri Bonnart depicting a woman (the print is entitled L'Afrique) partially covered by a red theater curtain and holding a dark-colored mask in her right hand away from her face.Scripts of Blackness shows how the early modern mass media of theatre and performance culture at-large helped turn blackness into a racial category, that is, into a type of difference justifying emerging social hierarchies and power relations in a new world order driven by colonialism and capitalism. Noemie Ndiaye explores the techniques of impersonation used by white performers to represent Afro-diasporic people in England, France, and Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, using a comparative and transnational framework. She reconstructs three specific performance techniques―black-up (cosmetic blackness), blackspeak (acoustic blackness), and black dances (kinetic blackness)―in order to map out the poetics of those techniques, and track a number of metaphorical strains that early modern playtexts regularly associated with them. Those metaphorical strains, the titular scripts of blackness of this book, operated across national borders and constituted resources, as they provided spectators and participants with new ways of thinking about the Afro-diasporic people who lived or could/would ultimately live in their midst. Those scripts were often gendered and hinged on notions of demonization, exclusion, exploitation, animalization, commodification, sexualization, consensual enslavement, misogynoir, infantilization, and evocative association with other racialized minorities. Scripts of Blackness attempts to grasp the stories that Western Europeans told themselves through performative blackness, and the effects of those fictions on early modern Afro-diasporic subjects.

Noémie Ndiaye is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago.


Introduction: Performative Blackness in Early Modern Europe
1  A Brief History of Baroque Black-Up: Cosmetic Blackness and Religion
2  A Brief History of Baroque Black-Up: Cosmetic Blackness, Gender, and Sexuality
3  Blackspeak: Acoustic Blackness and Accents of Race
4  Black Moves: Race, Dance, and Power
Post-Script: Ecologies of Racial Performance

Appendix: Selection of Early Modern Plays Featuring Black Characters

New Book | Boundaries of Belonging

Posted in books by Editor on March 22, 2023

From Penn Press:

April Lee Hatfield, Boundaries of Belonging: English Jamaica and the Spanish Caribbean, 1655–1715 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1512824018, $45.

In the decades following England’s 1655 conquest of Spanish Jamaica, the western Caribbean became the site of overlapping and competing claims—to land, maritime spaces, and people. English Jamaica, located in the midst of Spanish American port towns and shipping lanes, was central to numerous projects of varying legality, aimed at acquiring Spanish American wealth. Those projects were backdrop to a wide-ranging movement of people who made their own claims to political membership in developing colonial societies, and by extension, in Atlantic empires.

Boundaries of Belonging follows the stories of these individuals—licensed traders, smugglers, freedom seekers, religious refugees, pirates, and interlopers—who moved through the contested spaces of the western Caribbean. Though some were English and Spanish, many others were Sephardic, Tule, French, Kalabari, Scottish, Dutch, or Brandenberg. They also included creole people who identified themselves by their local place of origin or residence–as Jamaican, Cuban, or Panamanian.

As they crossed into and out of rival imperial jurisdictions, many either sought or rejected Spanish or English subjecthood, citing their place of birth, their nation or ethnicity, their religion, their loyalty, or their economic or military contributions to colony or empire. Colonial and metropolitan officials weighed those claims as they tried to impose sovereignty over diverse and mobile people in a region of disputed and shifting jurisdictions. These contests over who belonged in what empire and why, and over what protections such belonging conferred, in turn helped to determine who would be included within a developing law of nations.

April Lee Hatfield is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University and author of Atlantic Virginia: Intercolonial Relations in the Seventeenth Century, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.


List of Maps

Introduction ‘In the Midst of the Spaniards’
1  ‘The Lawless Motions of Privateers’
2  ‘A Mungrel Breek of Spaniards’
3  ‘Free Negroes Must Not Be Sold’
4  ‘Amongst the White and Civilized People of the World’
5  ‘Our Holy Catholic Faith and the Asiento’
6  ‘The Trading World’
7  ‘In the Hands of Creolians’
Conclusion: ‘The Law of Nations’


Conference | Shifting Tides: Art in the 18th-Century Caribbean

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 21, 2023

A New & Correct Map of the Trading Part of the West Indies: Including the Seat of War between Gr. Britain and Spain: Likewise the British Empire in America, with the French and Spanish Settlements adjacent Thereto: Adorn’d with Prospects of ye Most considerable Towns, Ports, Harbours &c. therein Contained from the Latest & Best Observations (London: Printed for and sold by Henry Overton, at the White Horse without Newgate, 1741), “Dedicated to the Honble. Edward Vernon Esqr., Vice Admiral of the Blue and Commander in chief of all his Majs. ships in the West Indies, by H.O.”

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From Winterthur:

Shifting Tides: Art in the 18th-Century Caribbean
Online and in-person, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Wilmington, Delaware, 20–21 April 2023

Join leading and emerging scholars, museum professionals, and community partners as we rethink narratives surrounding colonial art in the Caribbean region. Shifting Tides: Art in the 18th-Century Caribbean aims to reimagine the relationship between American historical collections in public institutions and the communities they serve. The conference is made up of an in-person symposium followed by a virtual study day, with livestreamed roundtable discussion and an examination of paintings in the Winterthur collection. The conference is free, with a box lunch available for purchase. Register here»

Shifting Tides centers the Caribbean region to explore new pathways in the history of eighteenth-century art. Histories of colonial and viceregal American art tend to privilege art produced in continental spaces as they came to be organized as nation states, overlooking the interrelatedness of early Caribbean and continental colonies, and the significance of the Caribbean region.

The Caribbean basin, spanning the coastal areas as well as the islands which lie in the Caribbean Sea, was a central space for the making and circulation of European wealth. It was a space of competition between empires; a space of resistance against imperial exploitation; a space of porous boundaries that facilitated inter-imperial crossings and exchanges between creators and their patrons. This interconnectedness had a profound impact on artistic creation in the early Americas. Artists like José Campeche, Peter Bentzon, John Greenwood, Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza, Antonio José and Juan José Landaeta, and Agostino Brunias, worked outside and across borders; between social classes and races; and beyond sovereignties which historical narratives have organized for the eighteenth century. Abundant evidence also shows that John Singleton Copley, Luis Paret y Alcázar, and Benjamin West’s careers were profoundly impacted by their patrons’ connections to the Caribbean.

Shifting Tides brings together scholars, conservators, community partners, artists, and curators to discuss cutting edge scholarship and initiatives that explore the significance of the art created in and in relation to the Caribbean. We will explore new understandings of art making between American spaces, and reflect on their impact on how institutions frame colonial art in the Americas.

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 0  A P R I L  2 0 2 3

8.00  Registration and coffee

8.30  Welcome
• Chris Strand, Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO, Winterthur
• Alexandra Deutsch, John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections, Winterthur

8.40  Panel 1 | Sources and Perspectives: Rethinking the 18th-Century Caribbean
Scholars will introduce new perspectives on comparative colonialism in the Americas, on the Caribbean, and the Atlantic world and their role in renewing our understanding of the Americas in the eighteenth century. The panel will also reflect on the ways the field of United States American and Latin American art history have engaged with this recent historiography.
• José Luis Lazarte Luna (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
• Christelle Lozère (Université des Antilles)
• Pedro Luengo (Universidad de Sevilla)
• Eveline Sint Nicolaas (Rijksmuseum)

11.00  Panel 2 | Centering the Caribbean
Panelists will present new sources that are currently employed by art historians, scholars of material culture, and conservators in their research on eighteenth-century art and material culture. The speakers will discuss how their sources have been key to the emergence of new ways of seeing the nature of artmaking in American colonies, the mobility of creators, the role of enslaved individuals, knowledge transfer, and mixed-race artists and artisans.
• Emily Casey (University of Kansas)
• Janeth Rodríguez Nóbrega (Universidad Central de Venezuela)
• Sophie White (University of Notre Dame)

12.30  Lunch

1.30  Panel 3 | Beyond Boundaries: Artists and Creators
This panel will focus on individual-centered narratives emerging from research on creators, as well as curatorial practice. The speakers will talk about their projects and discuss how such individual-centered approaches present models for shifting our approach to what American art as a field of study should encompass.
• Alexis Callender (Smith College)
• Iraida Rodríguez-Negrón (Museo de Arte de Ponce)
• Marc Vermeulen (National Archives, UK)
• Michael Wilson (Temple University)

3.45  Panel 4 | Color and Artistic Creation
This panel will center questions of race and colorism in Caribbean art. Speakers will discuss research and projects that address the various roles that enslaved people and free people of African and Indigenous descent played in artmaking in the Caribbean, as well as their relationships with artistic practices in continental colonies.
• Mark Aronson (Yale University)
• Jorge Rivas Pérez (Denver Art Museum)
• Lucia Noor Melita (Victoria and Albert Museum)

F R I D A Y ,  2 1  A P R I L  2 0 2 3

9.00  Study Session
Physical examination and discussion of colonial paintings in the Winterthur collection, highlighting their Caribbean connections. The selected group of paintings include those by John Greenwood, Benjamin West, William Williams, John Smibert, John Wollaston, and Robert Feke.
• Stephanie Delamaire (Carnegie Museum of Art)
• Matthew Cushman (Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library)
• Mina Porell (The Barnes Foundation)
* Due to space constraints, the Study Day will be filmed and available online only; registrants will receive further information with a link to the recording.

12.00  Lunch Break

2.00  Livestream Roundtable | Research, Methodologies, and Institutional Initiatives
Concluding the conference, this online roundtable will bring together scholars, museum and historic site administrators, and community partners who have contributed to initiatives that are creating spaces for Caribbean art in their institutions and communities. They will discuss new trends and opportunities for an expanded view of the significance of eighteenth-century Caribbean art in various regional and national institutions.
• Rocío Aranda-Alvarado (Ford Foundation)
• Rafael Damast (Taller Puertorriqueño)
• Wim Klooster (Clark University)
• Louis Nelson (University of Virginia)

Speaker biographies are available here»

Exhibition | American Art from the Spanish Empire

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on March 21, 2023

From the press release for the exhibition:

From the Andes to the Caribbean: American Art from the Spanish Empire
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 3 March — 30 July 2023

Organized by Horace Ballard

Artist active in the Viceroyalty of Peru, after Diego de Ocaña (1585–1608), Our Lady of Guadalupe at Extremadura, 1730–80, oil on canvas (Carl & Marilynn Thoma Collection, TL42430.6; photo by Jamie Stukenberg).

This spring, the Harvard Art Museums invite visitors to discover a more expanded story of American art through an unparalleled collection of Spanish colonial paintings. From the Andes to the Caribbean: American Art from the Spanish Empire presents 26 works from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation—the premier U.S. private collection of 17th- to 19th-century paintings from South America and the Caribbean—together with works from the Harvard Art Museums and other Harvard University collections. The presentation marks the museums’ first ever exhibition combining religious and secular art of the Spanish Americas.

The exhibition has been organized for the Harvard Art Museums by Horace D. Ballard, the Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. Associate Curator of American Art, and is Ballard’s first major exhibition at Harvard since joining the museums in 2021. Natalia Ángeles Vieyra, Associate Curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum, contributed to the early thinking of the show when she served as the 2019–22 Maher Curatorial Fellow of American Art at the Harvard Art Museums. From the Andes to the Caribbean will be on display March 3 through July 30, 2023, in the museums’ special exhibitions gallery on Level 3. All in-gallery materials are being presented bilingually, in Spanish and English.

The Spanish empire and its mercantile companies were the dominant colonial force in America from 1492 to 1832. Five years before Portugal established American settlements and nearly a century before Britain and France claimed land in the hemisphere, wealth from America’s colonial territories (viceroyalties) of New Spain and Peru made Spain the richest nation on Earth. Though Spain is no longer an empire, its colonial past continues to inform the art and culture of the Americas.

From the Andes to the Caribbean emphasizes three key themes related to culture and empire: the political and spiritual work of Catholic icons; the ways in which empire begets hybrid cultural identities; and the relationship between labor, wealth, and luxury. Paintings from present-day Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela are presented alongside works on paper and design objects made with Cuban and Honduran mahogany, Mexican cochineal, and Peruvian silver, underlining the great diversity of works of art broadly referred to as either ‘Viceregal’, ‘Spanish colonial’, or simply ‘American’.

“My hope for this exhibition is to begin to unravel decades-long assumptions and half-truths about the definitions and origins of American art,” said Ballard. “In exploring works of print and design, as well as painted icons and portraiture from the 17th and 18th centuries in the Viceroyalties of Peru and New Spain, I aim to expand the narratives that many North American collections, including the Harvard Art Museums, have told for generations.”

The 50 objects on view include 26 paintings on loan from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, dating from roughly 1600 to the mid-19th century, including exquisitely rendered depictions of Christian saints, angels, and the Holy Family, as well as portraits of those who had political and military influence within the royal court of Spain; 18th-century wood furniture and silver tableware from the Harvard Art Museums’ collections; samples of pigments and metals from the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies that show some of the materials mined by Indigenous laborers and used by Spanish colonial artists in their work; a 1729 volume of The English Pilot, a series of sea atlases produced in England that chart the major ports and cities in the Americas, on loan from the Harvard Map Collection; and on loan from Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum Library, a 1787 French text that explains the production of carmine, a highly prized pigment whose secrets of manufacture were closely guarded by the Spanish.

“The names of many of the artists of the works in the exhibition are unknown to scholars, as racism, market factors, customs of religious humility, and the ethos of the guilds or workshops in which the works were created makes it difficult to assign authorship,” said Ballard.

Small round portrait depicting a girl and mounted in an ornamental gilded frame.

Diego Antonio de Landaeta, Portrait of Petronila Méndez, 1763, oil on panel, 6.5 × 7.5 inches (Carl & Marilynn Thoma Collection, TL42430.26; photo by Jamie Stukenberg).

However, key examples of paintings from three African diasporic makers are on display: Juan Pedro López (1724–1787), considered the finest artist active in 18th-century Venezuela; José Campeche y Jordán (1751–1809), arguably the greatest religious painter born in America during the centuries of colonial rule and occupation; and Diego Antonio de Landaeta (active 1749–1799), a member of a large family of artists working in 18th-century Caracas. López’s Our Lady of Guidance (1765–70) depicts a statue that was installed in a niche within the Catholic church of San Mauricio in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1704. Tobias and the Angel (1787), by Campeche y Jordán, is based on a narrative from around 300–200 BCE, in which the archangel Raphael disguises himself and accompanies the blind Tobias on a long journey. Landaeta’s portrait of Petronila Méndez (1763), a wealthy child from colonial Venezuela, is the only extant work by the artist that has been identified.

Importantly, the exhibition also explores materials that artists used in their work and that were traded extensively across the world, including copper, silver, gold, cochineal, and mahogany. Silver from the Viceroyalty of Peru (present-day Bolivia) was extremely significant in the world economy, including colonial-era Boston. It is estimated that 60–80 percent of the world’s silver during America’s colonial era came from Potosí, an Inkan settlement in the Andes. A majority of the eight silver works on display, including casters, sugar vessels, and coins from the Harvard Art Museums’ collections, are believed to be molded from silver mined at Potosí. A tea chest, tea table, and bombé secretary desk of English design provide elegant examples of transatlantic furnishings crafted from mahogany, a prized shipbuilding material with a history inseparable from colonialism and the enslaved labor used to grow, fell, and process the wood for manufacture.

Loans and exhibition coordination courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation. Support for the exhibition is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation Fund for the American Art Department; the Bolton Fund for American Art, Gift of the Payne Fund; the Alexander S., Robert L., and Bruce A. Beal Exhibition Fund; and the Gurel Student Exhibition Fund. Related programming is supported by the M. Victor Leventritt Lecture Series Endowment Fund.

The curatorial team extend their special thanks to artist and educator Gabriel Sosa, who served as the chief translator of exhibition materials; curator and scholar Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt; Kathryn Santner, 2022–24 Mayer Center Fellow, Denver Art Museum; Thomas B.F. Cummins, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art, Harvard University; and colleagues at the Harvard Map Collection, the Harvard University Herbaria & Libraries, and Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Symposium | Spain and the Hispanic World

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on March 20, 2023

Giovanni Vespucci, World Map, 1526, ink and colour on four sheets of parchment, 85 × 262 cm
(New York: The Hispanic Society of America)

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This week at the RA, in connection with the exhibition Spain and the Hispanic World, on view until 10 April 2023:

Spain and the Hispanic World Symposium: Cross-Cultural Exchanges
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 24 March 2023

The Royal Academy of Arts will host an academic symposium exploring the global exchange of Spanish art and culture—from the Islamic legacy of Al-Andalus to the transatlantic connections between Spain and Latin America. This interdisciplinary symposium, timed to coincide with our exhibition of treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, explores current academic perspectives on the histories of cultural exchange surrounding the Spanish and Latin American worlds.

We begin by considering material cultures through the movement of objects, tracing global exchange in the contexts of empire and colonialism. We move on to consider global imperialism through the lens of faith, studying religious art and objects. From the society of Al-Andalus to the history of Spanish Catholicism in Mexico, we look beyond the export of Spanish culture, to the influences and exchanges that were simultaneously being brought back into Iberia. Finally, we explore the legacies of Spanish art and literature in Latin America, investigating the layers of cultural difference caused by colonialism, as well as using a materials-based approach to investigate how these layers appear in objects and artworks. The symposium concludes with an artist in-conversation with Ana Maria Pachecho, exploring how the themes and ideas discussed throughout the day are still relevant to contemporary artist practice.

This intensive one-day symposium is a key moment in driving forward conversations and discussions on the art of the Latin world and is open to scholars, enthusiasts, and anyone wanting to know more about this groundbreaking exhibition. Ticket fees (£45 / £15) include exclusive early-morning access to the RA’s exhibition Spain and the Hispanic World starting at 8:30am and a drinks reception at 6:00pm.

This will be the first iteration of an annual symposium made possible by the Armando Garza-Sada Sr. Endowment for the Arts.


Andrew M. Beresford is Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Durham, and has published widely on Iberian art and literature, focusing principally on the cults of the saints and the signifying potential of the human body. His most recent book (2020) offered a study of the flaying of St Bartholomew.

Caroline Egan is Assistant Professor of Colonial Latin American Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University. Her research examines the portrayal of Indigenous languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing especially on works composed in and about Nahuatl, Quechua, and Tupi and their circulation in the transatlantic world. Dr Egan has published in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Review, and Latin American Literature in Transition Pre-1492-1800, edited by Rocío Quispe-Agnoli and Amber Brian (Cambridge University Press).

Akemi Luisa Herráez Vossbrink is a Researcher at Nicolás Cortés Gallery in Madrid, an Old Master gallery focusing on Spanish, Italian, and Latin American art from the fifteenth century to the early twentieth century. She has been the Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Fellow at the Wallace Collection, as well as a curatorial fellow at the National Gallery and the Meadows Museum. Her doctoral thesis at Cambridge focused on Spanish seventeenth-century artist Francisco de Zurbarán and his reception in the Americas.

Claudia Hopkins is Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University, and Associate Editor of the Getty-funded journal Art in Translation. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish art and curated the exhibition La España romántica. David Roberts y Genaro Pérez Villaamil (Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 2021–22). Her forthcoming book discusses Spanish art in relation to attitudes to al-Andalus and Morocco (from Romantic liberalism in the 1830s, to colonial discourse before Moroccan independence in 1956).

IIona Katzew is Curator and Department Head of Latin American Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her most recent exhibition Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800 (2022) foregrounds the museum’s notable holdings of viceregal art. She was project director and co-curator of Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici (2017–18), which travelled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fomento Cultural Banamex, Mexico City. She holds fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty, and Fulbright. In 2018 she was selected by Artsy as one of the top 20 international curators taking a cutting-edge approach to art history.

Emmanuel Ortega is the Marilynn Thoma Scholar and Assistant Professor in Art of the Spanish Americas at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry Library for 2022–23. Ortega has lectured internationally on images of autos-de-fe, nineteenth-century Mexican landscape painting, and visual representations of the New Mexico Pueblo peoples in Novohispanic Franciscan martyr paintings. Ortega has curated the exhibition Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium, at the New Mexico State University Art Museum.

Adjoa Osei is a Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. She is a cultural historian whose research explores themes that are at the intersection of Performing Arts, Afro-Latin American Studies, and Francophone Studies. Her PhD, from the University of Liverpool, was in Latin American Studies, and her MPhil, from the University of Oxford, was in Portuguese Studies. Her research has been published in journals including Atlantic Studies and the Journal of Romance Studies, and she is a BBC New Generation Thinker.

Gabriela Siracusano is Scientific Researcher at CONICET (National Research Council, Argentina) and Director of the Centro MATERIA at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), as well as Chair Professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Getty Scholar, and has authored books including Pigments and Power in the Andes (London, Archetype, 2011) and Materia Americana (2020) (in co-edition with Agustina R. Romero). She received the 2022 Gratia Artis Award by the National Academy of Fine Arts.

Lucy West is Assistant Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where her focus is on the Spanish and Italian paintings. She was previously Assistant Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection Trust, London, and has worked across curatorial departments at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; the National Gallery, London; and Compton Verney, Warwickshire. Lucy is also completing an AHRC-funded PhD with the National Gallery, the Bowes Museum, and Leeds University, interrogating the roles of art dealers and agents in the market for Old Master paintings in nineteenth-century Britain.

Ana Maria Pachecho is a Brazilian artist who has lived in England since 1973. Pacheco is best known for her dramatic polychrome wooden sculptures. Her work draws upon the rich diversity of Latin American culture with echoes of African art, a reminder of the slave trade’s links with Brazil. She was the National Gallery’s Associate Artist between 1997 and 2000, when she produced the monumental multi-figured sculpture Dark Night of the Soul, inspired by the work of the sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, Saint John of the Cross. Her work has been shown in Cathedrals at Chichester, Norwich, and Salisbury, and most recently at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2022.

Colin Wiggins was Head of Education and Special Projects Curator at the National Gallery. He was responsible for the Associate Artist scheme and worked with artists such as Paula Rego, Peter Blake, and Michael Landy.


New Book | The Art of Witnessing

Posted in books by Editor on March 20, 2023

From the University of Toronto Press:

Michael Iarocci, The Art of Witnessing: Francisco de Goya’s Disasters of War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-1487543785, $90 / ISBN: 978-1487545277, $35.

Widely acknowledged as a major turning point in the history of visual depictions of war, Francisco de Goya’s renowned print series The Disasters of War remains a touchstone for serious engagement with the violence of war and the questions raised by its artistic representation. The Art of Witnessing provides a new account of Goya’s print series by taking readers through the forty-seven prints he dedicated to the violence of war. Drawing on facets of Goya’s artistry rarely considered together before, the book challenges the notion that documentary realism and historical testimony were his primary aims. Michael Iarocci argues that while the depiction of war’s atrocities was central to Goya’s project, the lasting power of the print series stems from the artist’s complex moral and aesthetic meditations on the subject. Making novel contributions to longstanding debates about historical memory, testimony, and the representation of violence, The Art of Witnessing tells a new story, print by print, to highlight the ways in which Goya’s masterpiece extends far beyond conventional understandings of visual testimony.

Michael Iarocci is a professor of Spanish Literature and Culture at the University of California, Berkeley.




1  Tristes presentimientos de lo que ha de acontecer
2  Con razón o sin ella
3  Lo mismo
4  Las mujeres dan valor
5  Y son fieras
6  Bien te se está
7  Qué valor!
8  Siempre sucede
9  No quieren
10  Tampoco
11  Ni por ésas
12  Para eso habéis nacido
13  Amarga presencia
14  Duro es el paso!
15  Y no hay remedio
16  Se aprovechan
17  No se convienen
18  Enterrar y callar
19  Ya no hay tiempo
20  Curarlos y a otra
21  Será lo mismo
22  Tanto y más
23  Lo mismo en todas partes
24  Aún podrán servir
25  También éstos
26  No se puede mirar
27  Caridad
28  Populacho
29  Lo merrecía
30  Estragos de la guerra
31  Fuerte cosa es
32  Por qué?
33  Qué hay que hacer más?
34  Por una navaja
35  No se puede saber por qué
36  Tampoco
37  Esto es peor
38  Bárbaros!
39  Grande hazaña! Con muertos!
40  Algún partido saca
41  Escapan entre llamas
42  Todo va revuelto
43  Tambien esto
44  Yo lo vi
45  Y esto también
46  Esto es malo
47  Así sucedió



Print Quarterly, March 2023

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on March 19, 2023

Juan Francisco Rosa, Equestrian Monument to Philip V, ca. 1738–45, engraved copper-plate, 26 × 36 cm (Chicago: Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation). The plate was cut into an oval, likely from what was originally a rectangle, and used as a support for an oil painting; on the other side is The Christ Child with St Joseph.

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The long eighteenth century in the latest issue of Print Quarterly:

Print Quarterly 40.1 (March 2023)


• Emily C. Floyd with Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt, “Juan Francisco Rosa: Engraver to the Elite in Eighteenth-Century Lima,” pp. 33–51.

This article explores the life and works of the limeño engraver Juan Francisco Rosa (active in Lima, Peru, 1735–1756), with in-depth discussions pertaining to popular themes in his prints, patrons and contributions to the historic documentation of events and lost works in Lima. It adds two remarkable works to his oeuvre—a copperplate, now cut in two, and an illumination associated with a patent of nobility. The plate documents a famous statue of Philip V that was placed in 1738 on the bridge over the river Rímac and soon destroyed in the 1746 earthquake. The article demonstrates that Rosa produced important commissions for powerful organizations and individuals in the viceregal hierarchy, suggesting his prominence as an artist in mid-eighteenth-century Lima.

N O T E S  A N D  R E V I E W S

• Antony Griffiths, “Altered Plates,” pp. 63–66. Drawing attention to an anecdote in a 1726 biography of the London publisher, newspaper editor, and controversialist Abel Roper, this note charts the chronology of an altered plate by William van de Passe depicting the Duke of Buckingham on horseback in the first state, published 1625. The plate was then modified around 1630/32 in the second state to represent James, 1st Duke of Hamilton, before being transformed again in the third state of 1654–58 to portray Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. The plate is documented to have been subjected to a fourth “very profitable” change, altered to portray William III, though no impression has yet been found.

Romeyn de Hooghe, Les Monarches Tombants (James II falls off the back of a unicorn at left, Louis XIV on a globe at right, while William III is raised on a shield in the background), 1689, etching, sheet includes letterpress text below the image (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

• Peter van der Coelen, Review of Meredith McNeill Hale, The Birth of Modern Political Satire: Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708) and the Glorious Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 66–68. Peter van der Coelen is persuaded by Hale’s argument that the satires De Hooghe produced between 1688 and 1690 were decisive for the development of political satire as a genre and that the birth of the genre should therefore be located not in eighteenth-century England but in the Dutch Republic of the late seventeenth century.

• Helmut Gier, Review of Eckhard Leuschner and Friedrich Polleross, eds., “Der Augsburger Kupferstecher und Verleger Johann Ulrich Kraus (1655–1719),” in Frühneuzeit-Info 32 (2021), pp. 68–71. A review of nine conference papers addressing Johann Ulrich Kraus, one of whose most important contributions to the history of art was the reception and dissemination in central Europe of the art favoured at the court of Louis XIV.

• Stephen Salel, Review of Timothy Clark, Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything (British Museum Press, 2021), pp. 71–73.

• Janis A. Tomlinson, Review of the exhibition catalogue, Véronique Gerard, ed., Goya: Génie d’Avant-Garde. Le Maître et son École (Musée des Beaux-Arts and Éditions Snoeck, 2020), and “Goya peintre,” in Technè 53 (2022), pp. 73–75. Did Goya have a workshop? Whereas Goya’s prints seem to be a well-defined body of work, whose technique has been well-studied, as have their preparatory drawings and visual and historical sources, the paintings are another matter. Imitations, copies and forgeries began to circulate within a decade of Goya’s death and continue to complicate our understanding of his oeuvre. . . [These] two contributions . . . address some of these questions in very different ways.

• Heather Hyde Minor, Review of Ginevra Mariani, ed., Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1743–1753 (Edizioni Gabriele Mazzotta, 2010); Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1756–1757. Le Antichità Romane Lettere di giustificazione 2 (Edizioni Gabriele Mazzotta, 2014); Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1761–1765 (Editalia, 2017); and Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1762–1769 (De Luca Editori d’arte, 2020), pp. 102–06. This review explores the four-volume series of publications dedicated to cataloguing and discussing the 964 autograph printing plates by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the collection of the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome. Further Matrici incise volumes are expected to be published in due course.

• Roger Kneebone, Review of the exhibition catalogue, Monique Kornell, ed., Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy (Getty Research Institute, 2022), pp. 106–11. This review highlights the complex intersections between artists, engravers, anatomists and clinicians over four centuries. Worthy of note are the ways multiple perspectives from different kinds of parties informed the appearance of anatomical illustrations depending on their purpose and audience, resulting in images that were not always neutral in their ‘factual’ representations.

New Book | The Sewing Girl’s Tale

Posted in books, lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 18, 2023

John Sweet’s book The Sewing Girl’s Tale was recently awarded a Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy. Sweet will be speaking at the American Philosophical Society next week.

John Wood Sweet, The Sewing Girl’s Tale
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 23 March 2023, 6pm

book coverOn a moonless night in the summer of 1793 a crime was committed in the back room of a New York brothel―the kind of crime that even victims usually kept secret. Instead, seventeen-year-old seamstress Lanah Sawyer did what virtually no one in US history had done before: she charged a gentleman with rape. Her accusation sparked a raw courtroom drama and a relentless struggle for vindication that threatened both Lanah’s and her assailant’s lives. The trial exposed a predatory sexual underworld, sparked riots in the streets, and ignited a vigorous debate about class privilege and sexual double standards. The ongoing conflict attracted the nation’s top lawyers, including Alexander Hamilton, and shaped the development of American law. The crime and its consequences became a kind of parable about the power of seduction and the limits of justice. Eventually, Lanah Sawyer did succeed in holding her assailant accountable―but at a terrible cost to herself. Based on rigorous historical detective work, this book takes us from a chance encounter in the street into the sanctuaries of the city’s elite, the shadows of its brothels, and the despair of its debtors’ prison. The Sewing Girl’s Tale shows that if our laws and our culture were changed by a persistent young woman and the power of words two hundred years ago, they can be changed again.

John Wood Sweet, The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America (New York, Henry Holt and Co., 2022), 384 pages, ISBN: ‎978-1250761965, $30.

John Wood Sweet is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former director of UNC’s Program in Sexuality Studies. He graduated from Amherst College (summa cum laude) and earned his PhD in History at Princeton University. His first book, Bodies Politic: Negotiating Race in the American North, was a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Prize. He has served as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and his work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Institute for Arts and Humanities at UNC, the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale, the McNeil Center at Penn, and the Center for Global Studies in Culture, Power, and History at Johns Hopkins.



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