cover of book

‘Race Is Everything’: Art and Human Difference
by David Bindman
foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Reaktion Books, 2023
eISBN: 978-1-78914-731-5 | Cloth: 978-1-78914-696-7

A timely and revealing look at the intertwined histories of science, art, and racism.
‘Race Is Everything’ explores the spurious but influential ideas of so-called racial science in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries, and how art was affected by it. David Bindman looks at race in general, but with particular concentration on attitudes toward and representations of people of African and Jewish descent. He argues that behind all racial ideas of the period lies the belief that outward appearance—and especially skull shape, as studied in the pseudoscience of phrenology—can be correlated with inner character and intelligence, and that these could be used to create a seemingly scientific hierarchy of races. The book considers many aspects of these beliefs, including the skull as a racial marker; ancient Egypt as a precedent for Southern slavery; Darwin, race, and aesthetics; the purported “Mediterranean race”; the visual aspects of eugenics; and the racial politics of Emil Nolde.

See other books on: Art | Bindman, David | Criticism & Theory | Gates, Jr., Henry Louis | Race & Ethnic Relations
See other titles from Reaktion Books
More to explore: Women Authors