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San Diego Museum of Art

San Diego, California, United States of America

Tour venue for the major exhibition Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body, originated by Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire and exhibited there April 1 - August 10, 2008. The dates for the San Diego Museum of Art exhibition were January 31 - April 26, 2009.

From the flyleaf of the substantial exhibition catalogue (edited by Barbara Thompson):

“Explorations of contemporary art have focused on issues of identity and race for some time. Few, however, have sought to investigate these themes by juxtaposing historical and contemporary frameworks. Black Womanhood examines an especially charged icon - the black female body - and contemporary artists’ interventions upon historical images of black women as exotic Others, erotic fantasies, and super-maternal Mammies.

This book presents icons of the black female body as seen from three separate but intersecting perspectives: the traditional African, the colonial, and the contemporary global. The display and contemplation of such iconic images addresses complex and often competing forces of self-presentation and the representation of others. Peeling back layers of social, cultural, and political realities, Black Womanhood explores how historic icons inform contemporary artistic responses to the black female body through an examination of themes such as beauty, fertility and sexuality, maternity, and women’s roles and power in society.

Contributing editor Barbara Thompson, curator of African, Oceanic, and Native American Collections at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College has compiled more than two hundred historical and contemporary images to accompany written contributions by artists, curators and scholars, including Ifi Amadiume, Ayo Abietou Coly, Christraud Geary, Enid Schildkrout, Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, Carla Williams, and Deborah Willis. This compelling volume makes a valuable contribution to ongoing discussions of race, gender, and sexuality by promoting a deeper understanding of past and present readings of black womanhood, both in Africa and in the West.”

In addition to the writers mentioned above, the catalogue included a text by Barbara Thompson. The exhibition featured contributions by the following artists: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Renée Cox, Sokari Douglas Camp, Angéle Etoundi Essamba, Lalla Assia Essaydi, Emile Guebehi, Senzeni Marasela, Nandipha Mntambo, Zanele Muholi, Hassan Musa, Wangechi Mutu, Ingrid Mwangi/Robert Hutter - IngridMwangiRobertHutter Collective, Magdalene Odundo, Etiyé Dimma Poulsen, Alison Saar, Joyce J. Scott, Berni Searle, Fazal Sheikh, Malick Sidibé, Penny Siopsis, Maud Sulter, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Carla Williams.

Related items

Exhibitions at this venue

People who have appeared at this venue + view all 33

»  Sokari Douglas Camp CBE

Born, 1958 in Buguma, Nigeria

»  Angéle Etoundi Essamba

Born, 1962 in Douala, Cameroon

»  Lalla Assia Essaydi

Born, 1965 in Morocco

»  Etiyé Dimma Poulsen

Born, 1968 in Ethiopia

»  Barbara Thompson

Born, 1960