International Journal of Art & Design Education

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?: Resetting the Table of Modernist Art

Volume 20.1   2001



Racism has often been expressed in the form of physical violations of human rights, soul destroying emotional taunts and deliberate policies of social exclusion. Many educators who oppose such an approach would be horrified to find racist origins embedded in the aesthetic discourses which they have taken up as their own. In this paper I trace racist imagery and ideology in my own childhood, early schooling and adult art learning, and connect this with the persistent silencing of the black ‘other’ in the story of modernist art. As an educator of future art teachers the deconstruction of racist discourses is as essential as it is for pre-service students in their own emergent art pedagogy.