Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents “Afro-Atlantic Histories”


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John Biggers, The stream crosses the path, 1961, oil and tempera on panel, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Mandell

Image courtesy of John T. Biggers Estate

The MFAH presents the American Afro-Atlantic Histories Tour, a unique exhibition that explores the history and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. The exhibition includes more than 130 works of art and documents produced in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe over 500 years, from the 17th century to the 21st century.

“Afro-Atlantic Histories” dynamically juxtaposes works by artists from 24 countries, representing evolving perspectives across time and geography through paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, temporal media arts and major mayflies. The range ranges from historical paintings by Jean-Baptiste Debret, Frans Post and Dirk Valkenburg to contemporary art by Melvin Edwards, Ibrahim Mahama and Kara Walker.

The exhibition was first presented at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil, and the US tour builds on the presentation through the general theme of histórias – a Portuguese term that can encompass both fictitious and non-fictional accounts of cultural, economic, personal or political stories. The term is plural, diverse and inclusive, offering perspectives that have been marginalized or forgotten. Afro-Atlantic Histories unfolds through six thematic sections that explore the varied stories of the diaspora.

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