This session brings together historians and art historians whose work has, on the one hand, been grounded in art museum collections and, on the other, challenged traditional museological narratives of slavery’s legacies.
This is the second session of Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures, presented by the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, and Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture. This four-part program explores efforts by art museums to deploy their spaces and their collections—which are often enmeshed with colonialism and exploitation—to present more complete narratives of and perspectives on slavery and its legacies.
Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, Harvard Art Museums
Kéla Jackson, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
“Visualizing Slave War”
Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Founding Director of the History Design Studio, Harvard University
“Shedding Light on a Not So Hidden Past: Changing Perspectives on Slavery in the Dutch Empire”
Pepijn Brandon, Assistant Professor of Economic and Social History, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Senior Researcher, International Institute of Social History
“Reflections on the Black Servant in 17th-Century Dutch Art and History”
Elmer Kolfin, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam
“Representation | Blackness”
Claudia Swan, Mark Steinberg Weil Professor of Art History & Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis
“Dutch Slave Trade in Africa: Insights from Historic West African Art”
Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
This program will take place online via Zoom. Free admission, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.
The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours in advance.
Separate registration is required for each portion of the program.
Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures is organized by Sarah Mallory, Kéla Jackson, and Rachel Burke, all doctoral students in Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, and Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation Curatorial Fellow in the Division of European and American Art, at the Harvard Art Museums.
Student research informing this conference was supported by a student grant from the presidential initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, a university-wide effort housed at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.