Yale art historian to discuss arts and performance of Africa

Yale University art historian Robert Farris Thompson, a renowned expert in the relationships between the arts and performance of Africa, America and the Caribbean, will offer a lecture titled Congo Carolina, Congo New Orleans: Adventures in Afro Atlantic Art History at 7 p.m. Friday, March 7, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives. Sponsored by the Multicultural Center, the public is invited to attend his lecture free of charge.

Thompson is the Col. John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, where he received his doctorate and has taught since 1961. The author of a vast body of scholarship, Thompson’s books includes Black Gods and Kings: Yoruba Art at UCLA, African Art in Motion and Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art. His essays have appeared in more than 17 anthologies on topics ranging from various African ethnic groups in their own right, to the influence of African art on U.S. sports and drama, music and dance.

In addition to his writing and teaching, he has organized several major exhibitions, including The Four Moments of the Sun (1981) and The Face of the Gods: Shrines and Altars of the Black Atlantic World (1985) at the National Gallery of Art. In 1995, Thompson received the leadership award of the Arts Council of the United States African Studies Association for distinguished contributions to the scholarship in the field of African and African American art.

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