In 1930, Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History commissioned sculptor Malvina Hoffman to produce three-dimensional models of racial types for an anthropology display called the Races of Mankind. In this exceptional study, Marianne Kinkel measures the colossal impact of the ninety-one bronze and stone sculptures on perceptions of race in twentieth-century visual culture, tracing their exhibition from their 1933 debut and nearly four decades at the Field Museum to numerous reuses, repackagings, reproductions, and publications that reached across the world.
Employing a keen interdisciplinary approach, Kinkel taps archival sources and period publications to construct a cultural biography of the Races of Mankind sculptures. She examines how Hoffman's collaborations with curators and anthropologists transformed the commission from a traditional physical anthropology display to a fine art exhibit. She also tracks influential exhibitions of statuettes in New York and Paris and photographic reproductions in atlases, maps, and encyclopedias. The volume concludes with the dismantling of the exhibit at the Field Museum in the late 1960s and the redeployment of some of the sculptures in new educational settings.
Kinkel demonstrates how the Races of Mankind sculptures participated in various racial paradigms by asserting fixed racial types and racial hierarchies in the 1930s, promoting the notion of a Brotherhood of Man in the 1940s, and engaging Afrocentric discourses of identity in the 1970s. Despite the enormous role the sculptures played in representing race in American visual culture, their history has been largely unrecognized until now. The first sustained examination of this influential group of sculptures, Races of Mankind: The Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman examines how the veracity of race is continually renegotiated through collaborative processes involved in the production, display, and circulation of visual representations.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Rembrandt's extraordinary artistic career is his suite of brooding half-length portraits of religious figures from the late 1650s and early 1660s. Painted during a difficult time in the artist's life—when he no longer enjoyed a ready market for his works and may have turned to his deep religious convictions for solace—these images are among the most evocative Rembrandt created. For years scholars have debated whether these paintings were intended as a series, yet until now these works have, unbelievably, never been shown together.
An exhibition by the National Gallery of Art and this accompanying catalog assemble seventeen of the paintings for the first time, finally giving the powerful images their due. Many of these subtle and wondrous paintings have been identified as images of apostles and evangelists, but among them are also representations of Christ, the Virgin, and still-unidentified saints and monks. In Rembrandt's typical fashion, the men and women in these portraits peer out of the dark recesses of dimly lit interiors as though burdened by the weight of their spiritual and emotional concerns. Yet recent archival research has raised questions about their attribution, the relationships among the paintings, and, in a broader sense, Rembrandt's life and career—issues addressed by the contributors to this volume. With its lavish color images and state-of-the-field research, Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits will make a profound contribution to the understanding of this unique and provocative body of work.
On May 1, 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago opened its gates to an expectant public eager to experience firsthand its architectural beauty, technological marvels, and vast array of cultural treasures gathered from all over the world. Among the most popular of the fair's attractions was the Woman's Building, a monumental exhibit hall filled with the products of women's labor—including more than 8,000 volumes of writing by women. Right Here I See My Own Books examines the progress, content, and significance of this historic first effort to assemble a comprehensive library of women's texts.
By weaving together the behind-the-scenes story of the library's formation and the stories between the covers of books on display, Wadsworth and Wiegand firmly situate the Woman's Building Library within the historical context of the 1890s. Interdisciplinary in approach, their book demonstrates how this landmark collection helped consolidate and institutionalize women's writing in conjunction with the burgeoning women's movement and the professionalization of librarianship in late nineteenth-century America.
Americans in this period debated a wide range of topics, including women's rights, gender identity, racial politics, nationalism, regionalism, imperialism, and modernity. These debates permeated the cultural climate of the Columbian Exposition. Wadsworth and Wiegand's book illuminates the range and complexity of American women's responses to these issues within a public sphere to which the Woman's Building provided unprecedented access.
For most of the eighteenth century, automata were deemed a celebration of human ingenuity, feats of science and reason. Among the Romantics, however, they prompted a contradictory apprehension about mechanization and contrivance: such science and engineering threatened the spiritual nature of life, the source of compassion in human society. A deep dread of puppets and the machinery that propels them consequently surfaced in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century literature. Romantic Automata is a collection of essays examining the rise of this cultural suspicion of mechanical imitations of life.
Recent scholarship in post-humanism, post-colonialism, disability studies, post-modern feminism, eco-criticism, and radical Orientalism has significantly affected the critical discourse on this topic. In engaging with the work and thought of Coleridge, Poe, Hoffmann, Mary Shelley, and other Romantic luminaries, the contributors to this collection open new methodological approaches to understanding human interaction with technology that strives to simulate, supplement, or supplant organic life.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.