Installation view, Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body, 2008.
Black Womanhood Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body
Sep 17 - Dec 14, 2008

Black Womanhood is an ambitious exhibition that looks at the historical roots of a charged icon in contemporary art: the black female body. The exhibition’s premise is that only through an examination of the origins of the prevalent stereotypes of black womanhood can we begin to shed new light on the powerful revision occupying contemporary artists working with these themes today. About one hundred sculptures, prints, postcards, photographs, paintings, textiles, and video installations are presented in thematic sections representing traditional African, Western colonial, and contemporary global perspectives. The exhibition provides a unique, in-depth look at how images of the black female body have been created and used to express different ideals of beauty, fertility, sexuality, motherhood, and women’s identities and social roles from the nineteenth century to the present.

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, and is generously funded by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.