Our museum and library is closed today in celebration of Juneteenth.

Alexandra Macdonald wearing black, smiling, indoors on wooden bench

Alexandra Macdonald

Doan Fellow

Trained in art history, material culture studies, and history, Alexandra holds a BA and MA in art history from the University of Victoria and an MA and PhD in History from William & Mary. Alexandra’s work has been supported by numerous museums, institutions, and funding bodies in Canada, the UK, and the US. During her time at the Center, she will be conducting research for her second project, provisionally titled “Blue Gold: Indigo in the British World, 1680–1880.” As the “most famous of all dyes,” indigo was the quintessential blue colorant in the era when dyes were extracted from plants and minerals. Prioritizing Black women and men, both enslaved and free, housewives and their daughters, drysalters, natural philosophers, and chemists, each of whose knowledge and labor were vital for indigo’s success in Africa, the Caribbean, North America, and England, this project explores the intertwined geographies of coerced labor, knowledge, experimentation, natural history, and chemistry that drove indigo’s success in the British world.