Monica Blackmun Visonà

Associate Professor
Art History

As an Africanist and Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Studies, I teach a broad range of courses that link art produced in Africa to creative production elsewhere in the world.  These include upper division courses such as “ The Global Impact of African Art”, “Ten Artists in Ten Cultures”, and “5000 years of Egyptian art”, and I recently developed a new version of A-H 105, “World Art before 1400”.  My seminars often explore African Modernism and African Contemporary Art, and those on African Architecture are cross-listed with the College of Design.  Seminars offered in 2015-16 involve students in the planning processes for an exhibition that will focus upon provenance, the life histories of African artworks brought to Kentucky.

I am also Director of the Certificate of Global Studies, which acknowledges the international experience of University of Kentucky students who have studied or worked abroad:  Research trips to Egypt, Algeria and Morocco over the last three summers have introduced me to artists, curators and educators in Northern Africa who hope to work with colleagues and student interns at the University of Kentucky.

In 2014 and 2015, I contributed two essays for an exhibition on African artists that traveled from the Rietberg Museum in Zurich to Bonn, Amsterdam and Paris:, as well as contributing to a catalogue on the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia: and to an exhibition in Angoulême, France: They resulted from my ongoing research on artists in the Lagoon region of Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire).  In the upcoming year, I will be starting a new phase for this research, comparing contemporary artistic practices in Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring Ghana.  

A volume I co-edited in 2013, “A Companion to Modern African Art” recently won a prize from the Arts Council of the African Studies Association: ,while the  monograph I published in 2010, “Constructing African Art Histories for the Lagoon Region of Côte d’Ivoire”, has been favorably reviewed in several international journals:

However, I am best known as the principal author of two editions of “A History of Art in Africa”, an influential survey text used throughout the United States:

For more information on my research interests, please see the link to my CV.