$220; members $198
About the Class
The class is online-only. More about online classes.
How has visual imagery shaped our ideas about race? This course examines the formation of modern race consciousness in Europe and America via the visual techniques that were used to categorize specific groups and give shape to the idea of race as a sweeping, global reality. We will study a broad range of visual artifacts from Europe and the Americas—maps, scientific illustrations and popular prints, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts—to explain how race became a perceptual habit not just for artists and scientists but for ordinary people.
Théodore Géricault. Study of the Model Joseph, about 1818–1819. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Louis R. Sullivan. Illustration from Essentials of Anthropometry: A Handbook for Explorers and Museum Collectors, 1928, p. 27
Kim is an associate professor of American and modern art at Drexel University. Her 2018 book, Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public in Malvina Hoffman’s “Races of Mankind,” won the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Eldridge Prize.
Art in Context
Art in Context courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?