ROBERT FARRIS THOMPSON
B.A., Yale University, 1955
M.A., Yale University, 1961
Ph.D., Yale University, 1965
Colonel John Trumbull Professor, History of Art
African and African American Art
robert.thompson@yale.edu
OFFICE: Loria 556
TEL: 203.432.2683

Robert Farris Thompson, starting with an article on Afro-Cuban dance and music published in 1958, has devoted his life to the serious study of the art history of the Afro-Atlantic world. His first book, Black Gods and Kings, was a close iconographic reading of the art history of the forty million Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria. He has published texts on the structure and meaning of African dance, African Art in Motion, and a reader on the art history of the Black Americas, Flash of the Spirit, which has remained in print since its publication in 1983. Thompson has published two books on the bark cloth art of the pygmies of the Ituri Forest, plus the first international study of altars of the Black Atlantic world, Face of the Gods and most recently Tango: The Art History of Love. In addition, he has published an introduction to the diaries of Keith Haring, studies the art of José Bedia and Guillermo Kuitca and has been anthologized fifteen times. Certain of his works have been translated into French, German, Flemish and Portuguese. He is also the Master of Timothy Dwight College at Yale.