Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe

Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe


 
Workshop of Gerard David, Netherlandish, ca. 1460–1523. Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1514. Oil on wood panel. Museum purchase (y1932-34).

Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe explores  the presence of Africans and their descendants in Europe from the late 1400s to the early 1600s and the roles these individuals played in society as reflected in art. Africans living in or visiting Europe during this time included artists, aristocrats, saints, slaves, and diplomats. The exhibition of vivid portraits created from life—themselves a part of the wider Renaissance focus on the identity and perspective of the individual—encourages face-to-face encounters with these individuals and poses questions about the challenges of color, class, and stereotypes that a new diversity brought to Europe. Aspects of this material have long been studied by scholars, but this exhibition marks the first time the subject has been presented to a wider American public.

The exhibition will feature over 65 paintings, sculptures, prints, manuscripts, and printed books by great artists such as Dürer, Bronzino, Pontormo, Veronese, and Rubens. Organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore in collaboration with the Princeton University Art Museum, the exhibition includes artworks drawn from major museums and private collections across Europe and the United States, including works from both Princeton and the Walters. 

Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe was organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in collaboration with the Princeton University Art Museum, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition at Princeton has been made possible by generous support from Judith McCartin Scheide and William H. Scheide, Class of 1936, sponsors of the spring 2013 exhibition program. Generous funds have also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project; Christopher E. Olofson, Class of 1992; the Jannotta-Pearsall Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole; and the Frances E. and Elias Wolf, Class of 1920, Fund. Additional support has been provided by the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Exhibitions Fund; the Department of History, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, the University Center for Human Values, and the Council of the Humanities, Princeton University; the Apparatus Fund;and the Judith and Anthony B. Evnin, Class of 1962, Exhibitions Fund. Further support has been provided by the Program in Renaissance Studies and the Center for African American Studies, Princeton University, and by the Partners and Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum. Programming is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.