Yale Center for British Art
612 pages | 499 images
College Art Association, Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award, 2009
American Association of Museums, Honorable Mention, Museum Publications Design Competition, 2008
This book brings together paintings, drawings, prints, books, maps, manuscripts, costumes and music that represent the culture of slavery and emancipation in Jamaica. A series of lithographs by Isaac Mendes Belisario depicting formerly enslaved Jamaican citizens is reproduced as a facsimile at the center of the book. These Sketches of Character are printed on black backgrounds that visually divide this voluminous catalogue into three manageable sections. The front cover image, Actor Boy, is a Belisario portrait of the African-Jamaican masquerade, called Jonkonnu, first performed by eighteenth-century slaves. It is paired with a photograph on the back cover showing a present-day reenactment. This book received a College Art Association Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award and Honorable Mention from the American Association of Museums.