Join James Smalls, Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as he recounts the history of the life of Senegalese dancer, model, and gay icon François Féral Benga (1906–1957). Connecting West Africa, North America, and Europe, images of Benga’s body in motion and at rest has influenced the works of European and American artists and writers such as Richmond Barthé, Geoffrey Gorer, André Lévinson, George Platt Lynes, and Carl Van Vechten. Benga’s visual references reveal the importance of black bodies and artists in the articulation of modernist and afro-modernist practice. Generously sponsored by Professor Cécile Fromont and the Department of the History of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery’s Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund.
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