Creole Identity in the Art of the American South
Louisiana From the Colonial Era to Reconstruction
- Available for pre-order on June 9, 2023. Item will ship after June 30, 2023
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This book explores the ambiguity of racial and caste categories in Louisiana in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which is essential for a more nuanced understanding of the role of Americans of African descent in American art history as artists and as patrons. Wendy Castenell argues that that black Creoles deliberately employed the French Neoclassical style to assert their Latin roots and equality status. The book sheds new light on the under-studied genre of portraiture and the role of academically trained itinerant portrait painters. The book complicates dominant conceptions of race in American art by looking to Louisiana and its free people of color as an entry point into the controversial history of race mixing and racial identity in the United States.
Wendy Castenell is Assistant Professor of Art History and African American Art at the University of Alabama.