"A significant study based on truly original research. Richard Powell presents a critical assessment and exploration of the portrait as both object and subject of art and fashion. One of the many important aspects of Powell's book is his reinterpretation of the different ways the black body is represented within the context of the observer and the observed. By focusing on such representations within and outside the boundaries of art, Powell offers a conceptual exploration of agency and resistance as he questions the existing historiography. Cutting a Figure will make a significant mark in the field of American art history, fashion, visual culture, American studies, photography, and African American studies."
-Deborah Willis, author of Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
Richard J. Powell, Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008.