Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson's picture
Col John Trumbull Prof History of Art and Afr Am Studies
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190 York St, New Haven, CT 06511
203-432-2683

Robert Farris Thompson, Ph.D., Yale University, 1965, is the Colonel John Trumbull Professor of History of Art, Professor of African American Studies, and Master of Timothy Dwight College. A member of the Yale faculty since 1965, he has taught and written extensively on the visual traditions of West and Central Africa, and on Black Art in the Americas. His publications include Black Gods and Kings (1971), African Art in Motion: Icon and Act (1974), The Four Moments of the Sun: Kongo Art (1981), Flash of the Spirit: African and African–American Art and Philosophy (1983), and Pygmees (1991). In 1994, “The Face of the Gods: Art and Alters of Africa and the African Americas,” a major exhibition and book on African–Atlantic altars that constituted twenty–five years of research by Professor Thompson, opened in New York City and traveled to museums throughout the U.S. He published Rediscovered Masterpieces, printed in French, English, German, and Dutch editions by Musee Dapper in Paris; Mbuti Design, on the art of the women of the Ituri Forest in Central Africa, was published in English in Munich, and Tango: The Art History of Love appeared from Pantheon in 2005. In addition, he contributed an essay to the recent British Art Center volume covering Jamaica and its black culture, wrote a catalog on the African–American painter Wadsworth Jarrell (forthcoming), and wrote a catalog preface to a show by the Ivory Coast artist Ouattara. His article on Jerry Dantzig, arguably the finest photographer of black Puerto Rican mambo action, will appear in the fall 2008 issue of Aperture. Prestel, the publishers in Munich, will publish a volume late in fall 2008 called Aesthetic of the Cool, a reader of all his main articles published between 1959–2007.