Drawings and Images

1080 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

A portrait of Elihu Yale (1649-1721) and associates being waited upon by an enslaved young man. Painted circa 1708. The Yale University Art Gallery owns a different version of this painting and a related portrait depicting Yale interacting with a similar “black servant.”

Created by Richard Bridgens, circa 1833. Apparently meant to represent Trinidad on the eve of emancipation. Graphite on wove paper, with additional text at the bottom.

Published in Jamaica in 1837-38 by the Jewish Jamaican-born artist Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of Character, In Illustration of the Habits, Occupation, and Costume of the Negro Population in the Island of Jamaica provides the first detailed visual representation of Jonkonnu (or John Canoe), the celebrated Afro-Jamaican masquerade performed by the enslaved during the Christmas and New Year holidays. These illustrations formed the centerpiece of an exhibition organized by the Yale Center for British Art: Art & Emancipation In Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds.

121 Wall Street | Library Home | Hours

Holograph journal of a voyage to Martinique of the three-masted ship Le Diligent. Probably not an official log, the journal was written by First Lieutenant Robert Durand and describes in detail a voyage from Vannes, France, to the coast of Guinea, each slave trade port encountered on the coast, purchase of 256 slaves at Jacquin, voyage to Martinique, selling of the slaves at St. Pierre, and return to Vannes. Also described are conditions of trade in the African and Caribbean ports, dealings between slave traders and kings and chiefs, prices of provisions, competition among slave traders, effects of climate and disease, and expenses and revenues of the voyage.

1111 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

RAAI aspires to reproduce all the illustrations of figurative African objects published between 1800 and 1920 in books, periodicals, catalogues, newspapers, and other publications. It does not include postcards or pamphlets of very limited distribution. More than 95% of the material is contained in the James J. Ross library, the remainder has been recorded from copies in other libraries. Many of the items pertain in some way to slavery or its legacies.

Pages