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Lucien Waléry, La danse du sabre, ca. 1934

CANCELED: Lecture, Savage Splendor: The Life and Bodily Intervention of Féral Benga

James Smalls
Thursday, March 26, 2020, 5:30 pm

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. The lecture will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Cécile Feza Bushidi, Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the History of Dance, Joanna Fiduccia, Assistant Professor in European and American modernism, and Kobena Mercer, Professor in the History of Art, African American Studies, Contemporary Art, and Art of the African Diaspora. Generously sponsored by the Council on African Studies, Professor Cécile Fromont and the Department of the History of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery’s Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund.

Open to: 
General Public