redflawedglass replied to your photo: “Stephen Slaughter Portrait of Two Society Women England (c. 1740s) …”:
Sometimes it means the painting is in private hands, or (heaven forbid) no longer exists. :(
That’s true. Sometimes it’s because it’s not on display due to photosensitivity, or a host of other reasons.
And sometimes it’s the result of the devaluation of paintings of Black models, and a masterpiece sits moldering in a basement for 200 years.
And sometimes it’s the result of paintings of Black people not being “British enough”, and being sold out of collections to whoever will take them.
And sometimes it’s because no one can find it because it’s mislabeled, in the wrong section, or because no one seems to know where to put it.
Or because it’s organized toward only specific topics, and the photography of the work in question reflects the bias towards white skin tones.
^ note that none of those tags would lead people toward it who weren’t already writing about or researching race and racism.
The Bridgeman Art Library took the new photo a while after criticism was posted about the image they had available.
Librarians, curators, researchers, bloggers, writers-we all have opportunities every day to create massive change in our respective universes. We’re all making a difference. And that is why I always take the opportunity to challenge rather than just assuming there’s a good reason for these lacks. Most of my benefits of the doubt have already been exhausted, and if you don’t challenge, nothing changes.