David Bindman

David Bindman

Professor Emeritus of Art History, University College London


Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at University College London
The Image of the Black in Latin America and the Caribbean 
Image of the Black Archive & Library

Fall 2017


David Bindman is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at University College London. He was educated at Oxford, Harvard and the Courtauld Institute, University of London. Professor Bindman has taught and lectured extensively in the US, and has held fellowships at Yale, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Getty Institute, and the Du Bois Institute at Harvard. He is a scholar of eighteenth-century British art, and the author of books on Blake and Hogarth as well as the editor of The History of British Art (Yale University Press, 2008). Over the course of his distinguished career, his interest turned to the representation of non-Europeans in Western art, culminating in the book Ape to Apollo: Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the Eighteenth Century (Cornell University Press, 2002).

Project Description

The Image of the Black in Latin America and the Caribbean

My principal task in fall 2017 will be to work on The Image of the Black in Latin America and the Caribbean (IBLAC), which I am editing with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Professor Alejandro de la Fuente. This volume is the second companion volume to The Image of the Black in Western Art, following The Image of the Black in Africa and Asia, which, as I write is due to be delivered in the next few days. IBLAC is an ambitious project, in two books, to bring together with scholarly essays, images of persons of African descent across the whole region from Latin America and across the Caribbean, treating it as a single continuum with ceaseless contact between the American continent and the “aqueous continent” made up of many islands with complex histories. This is a new approach which will challenge the disciplinary divisions that have tended to govern the history of both.


The volume will be at a critical stage in fall 2017. We expect to have the contributors contracted by April 2017 and in the fall semester we are planning a workshop at Harvard which will bring all the contributors together to present outlines of their essays. This is an important stage when we will be able to see the final shape of the volume, and the contributors will be clear of their own direction before they submit their essays in April 2018. This means I and my co-editors will be involved in intensive discussions with 10-15 contributors in shaping the final volume. I will also be working on the volume’s website which has now been set up.


I will also be working on an exhibition I have been commissioned to curate at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London on Artists and the Abolition of Slavery in Britain for early in 2019. The Exhibition was prompted by the extraordinary discovery of a set of slave manacles, which were on display in the house from the early 19th century, and were acquired by the great architect Sir John Soane himself. Though the exhibition space is relatively small we are expecting a number of outstanding loans of paintings by Joshua Reynolds and others. There will also probably be a group of Harvard students working on the exhibition under my supervision.

2015-2016: Image of the Black Archive & Library Fellow

2010-2015: McMillan-Stewart Fellow


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