“Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain” was held at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut. The exhibit, curated by PhD candidate Heather V. Vermeulen and Professor Hazel V. Carby, was part of a larger Yale initiative this fall exploring the visual representations of transatlantic slavery. The exhibit was broad in its scope, considering the relationship between the colonial management of land and labor in the long eighteenth century.
In addition to exploring the visual culture of that moment, the exhibit also featured a selection of four lithographs from Joscelyn Gardner’s series Creole Portraits III: “bringing down the flowers” (2009-11), a recent joint acquisition by the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. Gardner’s work mines the eighteenth-century Jamaica archive of white English immigrant, overseer, slave owner, and pen-keeper Thomas Thistlewood, one of whose diaries is on loan from the Beinecke.