Exhibition | Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on August 1, 2014


H. Cock, after prints included in Captain John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted
Negroes of Surinam, from the year 1772 to 1777, elucidating the history of that country and describing its productions

(London, 1796). Left: after William Blake, The Skinning of the Aboma Snake, shot by Capt. Stedman. Right: after Benedetti,
Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation
. Though originally appearing in separate volumes of Stedman, the two images
were here printed together.

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From The Lewis Walpole Library:

Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain
The Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, 20 October 2014 — 27 March 2015

Curated by Hazel Carby and Heather Vermeulen

Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain will explore the notion of empire’s ‘prospects’—its gaze upon bodies and landscapes, its speculations and desires, its endeavors to capitalize upon seized land and labor, as well as its failures to manage enslaved persons and unruly colonial ecologies. It will read latent anxieties in the management of bodies and borders, both in the colonies and in the metropole, and will examine the forces that empire mustered in efforts to quell and contain various threats to its regimes of power and knowledge. In addition to the focus on eighteenth-century material, the exhibition will feature a selection of four lithographs from Joscelyn Gardner’s series Creole Portraits III: Bringing down the Flowers (2009–11), a recent joint acquisition by the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. Gardner’s work mines the eighteenth-century Jamaica archive of white English immigrant and overseer Thomas Thistlewood, whose plantation ledger book will be on loan from the Beinecke.

A pendant exhibition, Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture, will be on display at the Yale Center for British Art from 2 October until 14 December 2014.



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