Portraits of a People: Picturing African Americans in the Nineteenth Century

Addison Gallery of American Art
2006

"Based on original research, [Portraits of a People] engages with the questions that historians care about. . . . For those of us interested in how portraits represent the self and reveal the social order, this is an important study." --Jack Larkin, Journal of the Early Republic

"Portraits of a People presents itself as a highly compelling project with a life well beyond its documentation of an ephemeral exhibition. The catalogue is certain to find an important place in college surveys of African American and American art, and will likely inspire even more art historians to turn to the museum as a stage for their arguments." -Tanya Sheehan, CAA Reviews

"The questions raised by Portraits of a People invite scholars to reconsider nineteenth-century images of African Americans, and provide them with new possibilities for recognizing and analyzing how dynamics of heritage affected identity construction and might have found expression in visual imagery." - Susanna Gold, American Quarterly

"Portraits of a People provides a new window onto the lives and the interests of the black folks who sat for these portraits and of the artists who constructed their images; lives that otherwise would have been less evident to us and whose visual trace might have been lost to the flux of history." - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , Harvard University