Art History
Thursday, January 17
Katherine Tsanoff Brown Lecture Series: Cécile Fromont, Yale University

About the Event

Cécile Fromont is Associate Professor of African Art at Yale University. She is currently the holder of the prestigious Rome Prize fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Her highly-acclaimed book, The Art of Conversion (2014) explains how, between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Kongo adopted and modified Christian iconography and ritual while perpetuating and transforming local artistic traditions. Dr. Fromont’s research and teaching engage deeply with historical African Art objects, but she has also field-changing discoveries in European archives, such as a trove of watercolors by Capuchin Friars which provides vivid evidence of the emergence of a distinctive Afro-Christian culture in clothing, regalia, and ritual.

In 2014, Dr. Fromont was a Fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale’s Divinity School, and her forthcoming collection of essays, Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas: Performance, Representation, and the Making of Black Atlantic Tradition, is based on a conference she convened while in residence there. Other publications include “Dance, Image, Myth, and Conversion in the Kingdom of the Kongo: 1500-1800” (2011) and “Dancing for the King of Congo, from Early Modern Central Africa to Slavery-Era Brazil” (2013). 

The Katherine Tsanoff Brown Lecture Series honors Katherine Tsanoff Brown, Rice University’s first teacher of art history, later the Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, and an ardent supporter of public lectures and visiting scholars in the arts.

Directions & Parking

The Moody Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Rice University, and is best reached by using Campus Entrance 8 at the intersection of University Boulevard and Stockton Street. As you enter campus, the building is on the right, just past the Media Center. There is a dedicated parking lot adjacent to the building. Payment for the Moody Lot is by credit card only. Maps are available at

Please note: Our address is the general address to Rice University. To find us on campus, enter “Moody Center for the Arts” on Google or Apple maps.


Moody Center for the Arts
Lois Chiles Studio Theater