6. Michael Harris, Yellow Mary

6. Michael Harris, Yellow Mary

digital photograph
[courtesy of Atlanta University Center and Robert W. Woodruff Library]

Yellow Mary

Michael D. Harris, a celebrated artist and art historian, was born in 1948. He obtained degrees in education, painting, African American studies, and philosophy before completing a PhD in history of art at Yale University in 1996. He is currently an associate professor of art history in the Department of African American Studies at Emory University. His scholarly work on Yoruba art and culture, and on the visual culture and representation of people of African descent, has provided concepts he weaves into his own artwork.*

At the center of Harris’ Yellow Mary is a portrait of an elegant woman of African descent, whose complexion is evoked by the image title. She is seated on a bench that has been draped in an expressively

—Nalani Dowling

* Biographical portion includes work by Nalani Dowling and Kela Jackson.