The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, December 18, 2018

British Museum display explores the legacy of the world's first slave revolution
Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), General Toussaint L'Ouverture from the series The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture. Screenprint, 1986. © Estate of Jacob Lawrence. ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017.

LONDON.- The Asahi Shimbun display A revolutionary legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture explores the legacy of the world’s first slave revolution, the Haitian Revolution, which led to the abolition of slavery and the formation of Haiti as an independent republic in 1804. This display includes a selection of objects commemorating the man who emerged in the 1790s as the Revolution’s foremost leader: Toussaint Louverture. At the centre of the display is a new acquisition of an imposing screenprint showing Louverture in military uniform, by the African American artist Jacob Lawrence.

Specially acquired for this display, Lawrence’s boldly-coloured image of Louverture is the first work by the artist to enter the British Museum’s collection. Artists like Lawrence emerged from the Harlem Renaissance movement in the 1930s which saw the rise of African American culture. The history of Haiti was a touchstone in the struggle for equal rights and anti-racism. Against what he described as the ‘economic slavery’ of African Americans, Lawrence chose to honour Louverture as a powerful leader and the Haitian Revolution as an inspiring story of lasting significance.

Equally important as an example of continuing injustice for Lawrence’s contemporaries was the US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Paired with Lawrence’s print is a Haitian Vodou boula drum (early 1900s), on display for the first time since entering the British Museum’s collection in 1930. Vodou is a diasporic religion with deep roots in West Africa. It played an important role in the Haitian Revolution by uniting diverse groups. During the US occupation, sacred objects like this drum−which during ceremonies would have been whipped with two sticks in a continuous high-pitched rhythm to serve the spirits−were systematically suppressed. However, like Lawrence’s image of Louverture, for which the occupation formed an important context, it remains a poignant symbol of cultural resistance.

Vodou is also central to the work of Haitian-born artist and anthropologist, Gina Ulysse (b. 1966), whose poetic mixing of Vodou chant with words of anti-imperial protest can be heard in the display. Ulysse has been specially commissioned to respond to the display and will perform at the British Museum on March 16th. Her voice brings alive the urgency of the Revolution’s message and adds a contemporary layer to the responses across time presented here, including the work of the 18thcentury English poet William Blake, who celebrated slave revolution. Standing alongside Blake’s poetry are heroic representations of Louverture made in London and Edinburgh in 1802.

Also on display is a newly-acquired Haitian banknote commemorating the bicentenary of Independence (2004). The banknote depicts Sanité Bélair, a woman who rose to become a lieutenant in Louverture’s army−a forceful reminder of the crucial role played in the Revolution by women, who acted as resistance fighters alongside men. A Senegalese coin commemorating the abolition of slavery and bearing the profile image of Louverture is also on display, together with the cover of C. L. R. James’s influential account of the Revolution, Black Jacobins. Written the year Lawrence first created his image of Louverture (1938), and reissued in 1963 during the Civil Rights movement, the message of James’s book, like that of the Revolution itself, has never been more relevant.

Bringing a variety of objects together for the first time, this display highlights the reach of the Haitian Revolution across both time and space. The words on the walls spoken or written by Louverture and other prominent figures highlight that the struggles first begun in Haiti are still crucial in our world today.

Today's News

March 7, 2018

Charity gives Venus de Milo prosthetic arms in French campaign

Einstein letter fetches $100,000 at Jerusalem auction

Library of Congress conserves, digitizes rare photographs including Harriet Tubman portrait

The Hamburger Kunsthalle opens Germany's first large-scale monographic exhibition on Thomas Gainsborough

Exhibition at Moderna Museet explores the boundaries of Latin American Concretism

Famed Jean-Michel Basquiat painting to travel to Seattle Art Museum

Sotheby's to offer the only painting by Mahmoud Saïd depicting biblical figures to ever appear at auction

British Museum display explores the legacy of the world's first slave revolution

Sotheby's Hong Kong announces highlights from the Fine Chinese Paintings 2018 Spring Sales

Lévy Gorvy opens an exhibition devoted to the Ben-Day dot

Belvedere 21 presents a comprehensive cross-section of Rachel Whiteread's thirty-year career

An ancient holy book symbolises the fate of Sarajevo's Jews

Exhibition of new paintings as well as works on paper by Raffi Kalenderian on view at Buchmann Galerie

First UK survey of the work of Forensic Architecture opens at the Institute of Contemporary Arts

Baltimore Museum of Art debuts first museum exhibition of Baltimore-based artist Stephen Towns

Pi Artworks London opens a new exhibition of work by Ipek Duben

Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels opens exhibition of works by Jason Fox

New major work in the ARKEN collection: Candice Breitz, Love Story

Iranians welcome Louvre show despite tense diplomacy

Phillips strengthens its 20th Century & Contemporary Art team in Asia

Exhibition presents illustrations from the Royal Academy lectures of Sir John Soane

National Maritime Museum Cornwall opens "Titanic Stories"

Mercedes-Benz from the Rolland Collection leads $6.8 Million Collector Car Show & Auction

Metro Pictures opens exhibition of works by Oliver Laric

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- The Morgan receives a major Renoir drawing unseen for over 50 years

2.- A rare piece of U.S. paper money estimated at $2 million highlights Stack's Bowers Galleries auction

3.- $578K Rolex tops Morphy's $4 million Fine & Decorative Arts & Jewelry Auction

4.- Haunted by colonial past, Belgium's Africa museum reopens after revamp

5.- National Gallery of Canada acquires The Foursome (The Partie Carrée) by James Tissot

6.- Spectacular show presents magical and dream-like atmospheres by Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo

7.- National Gallery of Art elects Kaywin Feldman as its fifth Director, succeeding Earl A. Powell III

8.- National Portrait Gallery to stage major new exhibition on the women who shaped Pre-Raphaelite art

9.- Unique exhibition on Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck opens in Turin

10.- Exhibition at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum presents works by Victor Vasarely

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful