The MFAH presents the U.S. tour of Afro-Atlantic Histories, an unprecedented exhibition that explores the history and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. The exhibition comprises more than 130 works of art and documents made in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe across 500 years, from the 17th century to the 21st century.
Afro-Atlantic Histories dynamically juxtaposes works by artists from 24 countries, representing evolving perspectives across time and geography through major paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, time-based media art, and ephemera. The range extends from historical paintings by Jean-Baptiste Debret, Frans Post, and Dirk Valkenburg to contemporary art by Melvin Edwards, Ibrahim Mahama, and Kara Walker.
The exhibition premiered at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in Brazil, and the U.S. tour builds on the presentation through the overarching theme of histórias—a Portuguese term that can encompass both fictional and non-fictional narratives of cultural, economic, personal, or political character. The term is plural, diverse, and inclusive, offering viewpoints that have been marginalized or forgotten. Afro-Atlantic Histories unfolds through six thematic sections that explore the varied histories of the diaspora.