16th Annual Miller Lecture—"Family Matters: Art, Race and the Black Atlantic from Madame Benoist's Portrait d'une femme noire (1800)" by Prof. Anne Lafont

  • Tuesday, November 6, 2018
  • Weinstein Auditorium | Wright Hall, 5:00 PM | Free
  • Anne Lafont is professor (directrice d’études) at l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris.  Professor Lafont will speak about gender, art and race during the Enlightenment and the Atlantic Revolutions with a particular focus on the representation of African women's agency in the Colonies. She will present Madame Benoist's painting (below), Portrait d'une femme noire (Portrait of a black woman) in conversation with the exhibition, Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from the Horvitz Collection.

    Professor Lafont’s academic research focuses on visual cultures of the early modern world with a specific interest in Art of the African Diaspora in an eighteenth-century imperial context and contemporary artistic theory regarding Blackness and Creolization. She is the author of a book on Art and Race in the Age of Enlightenment to be published at Les Presses du Réel in January 2019.

    The Miller Lecture series, established at SCMA in memory of Dulcy Blume Miller, class of 1946, enables the Museum to bring a leading artist, architect, or art historian to campus each year to give a public lecture. Professor Lafont's visit is co-sponsored by Smith College Museum of Art, the Lecture Committee, and French Studies. This is the 16th Annual Miller lecture. Image: Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait d'une femme noire, shown at the Paris Salon of 1800 under the title, Portrait d'une négresse (Paris, Musée du Louvre)