Skip to Content | Text-only

Kimberly Cleveland


Dr. Kimberly Cleveland joined the Art History faculty of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design in 2008. She received her PhD in Art History from the University of Iowa, her MA in Art History from the University of New Mexico, and her BA in Spanish from Ithaca College. Dr. Cleveland is a specialist in modern and contemporary African and Latin American art. Her secondary areas of expertise are African-American art, Northern Baroque art, and Museum Studies. Before coming to GSU, she taught at the University of Iowa, and Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA. At GSU, Cleveland offers classes on African art, Contemporary African art and African American art.


Prof. Cleveland’s main research interests are modern and contemporary Afro-Brazilian art. Her doctoral dissertation entitled "New Center, Old Periphery: Race, Identity, and Regional Thematic Influences in Afro-Brazilian Art," explores Afro-Brazilian art through the lenses of African and Modern Latin American art history and features the work of Abdias do Nascimento, Ronaldo Rego, Eustáquio Neves, and Rosana Paulino. She is particularly interested in examining the implications and restrictions of the Afro-Brazilian artistic category in relation to national artistic production. Cleveland has been going to Brazil since 2003 and won a Fulbright fellowship for her doctoral research. Other research interests include connections between Afro-Brazilian art and international politics in the 1960s and 1970s and artwork from Lusophone Africa.


Kimberly Cleveland. Black Art in Brazil: Expressions of Identity. (Press of the University of Florida - May 2013).

"Afro-Brazilian Art as a Prism: A Socio-Political History of Brazil’s Artistic, Diplomatic and Economic Confluences in the Twentieth Century." Luso-Brazilian Review 49(2): 102-119.

"The Art of Memory: São Paulo's AfroBrazil Museum." In Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space, 197-212. Edited by Ana Lucia Arajuo. New York: Routledge, 2012.

"Appropriation and the Body: Representation in Contemporary Black Brazilian Art." Journal of Black Studies 41(2): 301-319.

"Kehinde Wiley’s Brazil: The Past against the Future." In Kehinde Wiley The World Stage: Brazil, 23-30. Culver City, C.A.: Roberts & Tilton; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Museu de Arte Moderna, 2009.


Prof. Cleveland was the curator of the "Sleeping with the Leopard: African Art from Cameroon" exhibition held at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA Jan. 24 - June 28, 2009.