The International Review of African American Art, Vol. 19 No. 1 (2003)


“Oh, I Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton”: Dixie Myths and Downhome Realities in American Visual Culture
Published in 2003, this 64–page volume of the Hampton University Museum’s The International Review of African American Art is dedicated to the 2001 Art College Association session “Oh, I Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton: Examining the Southern Site in Post–Migration African American Art,” which addressed the South’s critical role in the formation of Black cultural identity in the 20th century. Included in this issue are many color and black & white photographs of artists’ works, with very insightful commentaries by highly respected art reviewers.

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Juliette Harris

Guest Editor
Joyce Henri Robinson, Ph.D.

Executive Publisher
William R. Harvey, Ed.D.

Most of the essays in this special issue grew out of a 2001 College Art Association session titled “Oh, I Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton: Examining the Southern Site in Post–Migration African American Art.” The call for papers for that session resulted in many fine proposals, not all of which, of course, could be included. The fact that so many white scholars are working on this material attests to the increasing scholarly attention that is being paid to African American art in universities and museums across the country. The field can only benefit from this wave of interest that has caught the attention—and frankly touched the hearts of—so many fine young scholars.

Only over the past two decades have African Americans, in any appreciable number, earned advanced degrees in art history, and gone on to make careers and publish in the field. Also only over the past two decades has the history of visual art by and about African Americans become widely recognized in the academy as worthy of study. With a foundation laid by African American scholars Alain Locke, James Porter, Samella Lewis, and David Driskell, the field is still fresh, with many exciting areas still to be explored.

As we look forward, we believe that—as was the case with our work in this issue—the race of the scholar will not be a frequent or overriding professional concern. As more African Americans enter the field, both white and Black scholars will have vital, and often seminal, contributions to make to the history of the art of African Americans. And we believe that exchanges between white and Black art historians (such as the 2001 “Laying Claim” conference at Colgate University) will be essential to their individual and collective development.

—Excerpt from “Forum: Race and Writing art History” by Juliette Harris & Joyce Henri Robinson, Ph.D.

Feature Articles and Contributors:

“Forum: Race and Writing Art History”,
Juliette Harris & Joyce Henri Robinson, Ph.D.

“Overview: Southern Discomfort: African American Identity and the Southern Site in Post–Migration Art”, Joyce Henri Robinson, Ph.D.

“Albert A. Smith’s Plantation Melodies: The American South as Musical Heartland”, Laurel Weintraub, Ph.D.

“’On the Cross of the South’: The Scottsboro Boys as Vernacular Christs in Harlem Renaissance Illustration”, Caroline Goeser, Ph.D.

“In the Heart of the Black Belt: Jacob Lawrence’s Commission from Fortune to Paint the South”, Patricia Hills

“Field, Boll, and Monument: Toward an Iconography of Cotton in African American Art”, Julie L. McGee

“Bearden’s Country Still”, Sharon Pruitt

“Visualizing Culture: Art and the Sea Islands”, Lisa Gail Collins, Ph.D.

“Going Home to Get My Tombstone”, Julia J. Norrell

Bibliographic Details

Title:                                       The International Review of African American Art

Publisher:                            The Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia

Publication Date:              2003

Binding:                                Pictorial Softcover

Book Condition:                Excellent

Book Type:                          Quarterly Magazine


This special issue is made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Shipping Terms:

All books are padded and wrapped carefully.  Most are shipped in a box, unless very small, in which case they will be shipped in a padded envelope.


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