On the Margin, into the Frame – Black Identity in Art

Art History

Day course

Joanna Cobb

13 May 2022


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This course brings into focus a hugely rich subject which, until recent events unfolded, has tended to feature more on the margins of art history.

Yet Black people, both as creatives and subjects, were present in every area of public life from ancient Rome through to the 21st century. They include Emperor Septimius Severus, Tudor court musician John Blanke, abolitionist writer and campaigner Ottobah Cuguano, sculptor Edmonia Lewis, actor Ira Aldridge, and many more whose lives and achievements will be recognised throughout the day.

On the Margin, into the Frame

This exciting new series sheds light on subjects traditionally on the periphery of art history, but whose richness and diversity warrant greater attention. As well as familiar figures, expect to discover some surprising talents too long overlooked, who were remarkably successful in their own times.

  1. Women artists in focus: from Renaissance to Enlightenment.
  2. Black Identity in Art.
  3. Northern Lights.

Tutor information

Joanna Cobb is an independent art historian, researcher and lecturer based in Somerset with a passionate belief in the benefits of lifelong learning in its fullest sense.  Following a career teaching history, she studied history of art at Birkbeck, University of London, leading to an MA with distinction. Joanna’s article, ‘From Parrots to Princes: Exhibitions of Contemporary Stained Glass in Late Eighteenth-century London’. appeared in the online journal Vidimus, Issue 53, July/August 2011. Since moving to Somerset Joanna has been invited to speak for a range of organisations. Central to Joanna’s approach is an understanding of the cultural, political and social contexts in which works of art were produced and experienced,  in order to allow the ‘bigger picture’ to emerge and in so doing enrich and enlarge the encounter.

Covid information

Dillington House wishes to reassure everyone that we are working closely with Somerset County Council to ensure every measure is being taken to make Dillington House a safe place for everyone.

All course participants will be sent further guidance prior to the course date.

Dillington House is following Government guidelines and adhering to new guidance including local or national lockdowns.

All places booked can be transferred or refunded in the event this course is cancelled. Individuals who are affected by local lockdowns will be able to transfer to an alternative course. All other terms and conditions apply.