Black History Month is observed every February in the United States and Canada. What better time to remind our readers of the many excellent resources on the topic available in the Artstor Digital Library?

Jacob Lawrence, American, 1917-2000 | In the North the Negro had better educational facilities | The Museum of Modern Art | © 2008 Estate of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Black history:

Image of the Black in Western Art A systematic investigation of how people of African descent have been perceived and represented in Western art spanning nearly 5,000 years.

Magnum Photos: Contemporary Photojournalism Some of the most celebrated and recognizable photographs of the 20th century and contemporary life, documenting an astounding range of subjects, including hundreds of major figures and events in contemporary black history.

Eugene James Martin Vibrant abstract works by African American artist Eugene James Martin, including paintings on canvas, mixed media collages, and pencil and pen and ink drawings.

The Schlesinger History of Women in America Collection Professional and amateur photographs documenting the full spectrum of activities and experiences of American women in the 19th and 20th centuries, including a significant amount of portraits of African American women.

Smithsonian American Art Museum Works of art spanning over 300 years of American art history, including selections from a collection of more than 2,000 works by African American artists.

African art and culture:

Richard F. Brush Art Gallery (St. Lawrence University) West African textiles from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Cape Verde.

Herbert Cole: African Art, Architecture, and Culture (University of California, Santa Barbara) Field photography of African art, architecture, sites, and culture from Nigeria, Ghana, the Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Kenya, as well as photographs of African objects in private collections around the world.

James Conlon: Mali and Yemen Sites and Architecture Images of sites and architecture in Djenné, Mopti, Bamako, Segou, and the Dogon Region in Mali.

Fowler Museum (University of California, Los Angeles) The arts of many African nations, including Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The museum also has significant holdings of African diaspora arts from Brazil, Haiti, and Suriname.

Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University Images of African art, such as textiles, costumes, basket and beadwork, weapons, tools, and ritual objects.

Christopher Roy: African Art and Field Photography Images of West African art and culture, including ceremonial objects and documentation of their social context, use, and manufacture from the rural villages and towns of the Bobo, Bwa, Fulani, Lobi, Mossi, and Nuna peoples in West Africa—primarily in Burkina Faso, but also in Ghana, Nigeria, and Niger.

Thomas K. Seligman: Photographs of Liberia, New Guinea, Melanesia, and the Tuareg people Images of the Tuareg people, a nomadic people of the Sahara who live in countries such as Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso, as well as photographs of sites and people in Liberia, New Guinea, and Melanesia.

James Conlon, Photographer | Dogon Dance of the masks (2008) | Sangha (Dogon Region), Mali

For more teaching ideas, visit the Digital Library and click on “Teaching Resources,” where you can search for image groups that include Art History Topic: African Art and Interdisciplinary Topics: African and African-American Studies, as well as a case study, “Sweet Fortunes: Sugar, Race, Art and Patronage in the Americas” by Katherine E. Manthorne, The City University of New York. Also, visit Artstor’s Subject Guides page to download a guide to African and African-American Studies in Artstor.

New: Artstor and Black History Month, featuring additional resources!