BLACK ATLANTIC, power, people, resistance

: Avery (V.) & Richards (J.) eds.

R 860.00
- +

192pp., b/w & colour illus., maps, paperback, London, 2023


Published on the occasion of the exhibition, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, September 2023 - January 2024.

 "... the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge ... seeks to grapple with the museum’s connections to the transatlantic slave trade. In 1816, Richard Fitzwilliam donated vast sums of money, literature and art to the University of Cambridge, which gave birth to the museum. The donations were made possible by the huge wealth of his grandfather Sir Matthew Decker, a Dutch-born English merchant who helped establish the South Sea Company in 1711, which was responsible for the trafficking of enslaved African people. The Fitzwilliam brings together collections from across the University of Cambridge and other institutions, as well as 21st-century artworks that ask the question: whose stories get told ... the show too quickly jumps to moments of resistance, and looks to 'the future', rushing through its own past and present as a beneficiary of the empire to explore more generally the aesthetics and artefacts related to the slave trade. It isn’t depictions of brutality that are missing here, but more declassification, more storytelling and more exposition on how blood money and power shaped the legacy of the very building where these works hang. Ultimately, the museum doesn’t entangle itself enough. This welcome show isn’t ugly enough." The Guardian

Jake Subryan Richards is Assistant Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Victoria Avery has been Keeper of European Sculpture & Decorative Arts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, since 2010, prior to which she was Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Warwick.