This major exhibition will explore Pablo Picasso’s life-long fascination with African and Oceanic art, as well as works from the Americas, uniting his paintings and sculpture with art that fuelled his own creative exploration. In addition to paintings, sculpture, and drawings by Picasso, the exhibition will feature significant works of African and Oceanic art that transformed his artistic vision when he encountered them at the Musée d’ Ethnographie du Trocadéro (now Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris) during the early part of the 20th century. Visitors also will see works Picasso collected, lived with, and kept with him through numerous studio moves, still owned by his family, and others that are in the Picasso Museum in Paris.
The Ruth Davis Design Gallery hosts the exhibition Whirling Return of the Ancestors, a dynamic, multi-sensorial exhibition of sights, sounds, motions … and emotions. The exhibition presents the rich and varied artistry of Egúngún masquerades and other arts inspired by a tradition that honours and celebrates the power and eternal presence of ancestors among Yorùbá peoples of West Africa. This connection between the living and the departed is expressed in a Yorùbá saying: “The world is a marketplace [we visit], the otherworld is home.” (Ayé l’ọjà, ọ̀run n’ilé). Gallery visitors will encounter two dazzling Egúngún ensembles that create a “breeze of blessing” when they whirl in performance. The exhibition also includes two historic Egúngún ensembles from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, cloth and carved wooden headdresses, and carved memorial figures representing departed sacred twins. Several works are on loan from the Chazen Museum of Art and private collectors. Powerful contemporary traditions are represented through photographs by Phyllis Galembo, textile works by Agbo Folarin and Koffi Gahou, a painting by Wole Lagunju, and a painted ensemble in motion by Moyo Okediji. The gallery is filled with sights, sounds, and motions in a documentary film of the annual Egúngún festival in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, and Ọ̀yọ́tunji Village, South Carolina.
Beliefs in spiritual beings and worlds beyond nature are characteristic of all human societies. By looking at how people believe through everyday objects of faith, this exhibition provides a perspective on what makes believing a vital part of human behaviour. Seeing how people believe, rather than considering what they believe, suggests that humans might be naturally inclined to believe in transcendent worlds and beings. Stories, objects, images, prayers, meditation and rituals can provide ways for people to cope with anxieties about the world, and help form strong social bonds. This in turn helps to make our lives well-ordered and understandable.
Featuring works from the Fowler Museum’s collection, this exhibition will explore the connections between food, culture and royal power in the palaces of the Cameroon Grassfields. Ceramics, beadwork, weaving, embroidery, and carving will serve to highlight the many ways that dining in the palace is replete with expressions of power. Iconography, the use of restricted or prestige materials, and the integration of foreign styles underscore the ways in which food culture is about much more than sustenance: it is about ritual, diplomacy, status, and hospitality. Curated by Erica Jones, Associate Curator of African Arts, Fowler Museum at UCLA.
In partnership with Clement Foundation, the Dapper Foundation presents 'Africa - Artists of Yesterday and Today' featuring nearly 100 major pieces from the Dapper collection. A Fang reliquary figure from, a dance stick in honour of the god Shango from Nigeria, a Punu mask from Gabon, a statuette of Ivory Coast embodying a mystical spouse all conjure up practices that in the West Indies touch deep in the privacy of individuals. This selection of major pieces from the Dapper Foundation's collection reveal a vast repertoire of representative styles from across sub-Saharan African societies.
In its winter exhibition, Museum Volkenkunde – the Netherlands’ national museum of ethnography – will be presenting the largest collection of jewellery ever to be displayed in a Dutch museum. Almost 1000 items of jewellery by designers from all over the world will guarantee a feast for the eye, as well as plenty of surprises and no small measure of wonder. As well as exploring how people around the world adorn themselves, the exhibition will also zoom in on the makers, the techniques they use, and the extraordinary stories of some of those who wear the jewellery.
This exhibition presents approximately 20 works that illustrate the honored place birds hold within numerous African cultures. Inspired by our recent acquisition of a rare Pende Gitenga mask of the early to mid-20th century, the exhibition considers the role of birds within initiation, healing, and harvest rituals; within home décor and security; and within hunting practices. Long considered wondrous beings that transcend known worlds, birds have enjoyed a strong and steady presence in African life for centuries. Included are works that cite birds by material or motif made in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.
Be dazzled by over 200 gleaming gold items of regalia, colorful and intricately woven silk kente cloth, ceremonial furniture, state swords, linguist staffs, and other significant objects related to Asante royals from the 19th through the 21st centuries. Founded around 1701 with wealth derived from the gold trade with North Africa and Europe, the Asante Kingdom was a very powerful polity in West Africa. The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana, inspired by works in the DMA’s collection and featuring objects from public and private collections, reveals the splendor of Asante regalia, much of which is made of gold.
As avatars of royal power and authority in Western Cameroon, tsesah crests by Bamileke artists stand out for their monumental scale and bold interpretations of the head. In celebration of The Met's recent acquisition of a rare 18th-century masterpiece, the exhibition presents this tsesah crest along with three examples drawn from other collections. Only 15 works from this genre survive, and this presentation is the first opportunity in the United States to view a group of these epic creations together.
Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths, an international traveling exhibition that combines scholarship with objects of great aesthetic beauty to create the most comprehensive treatment of the blacksmith’s art in Africa to date. The exhibition will include over 225 artworks from across the African continent, focusing on the region south of the Sahara and covering a time period spanning early archaeological evidence to the present day. It features wood sculptures studded with iron, blades, and currencies in a myriad of shapes and sizes, diverse musical instruments, body adornments, an array of ritual accoutrements, tools and weapons, and other important objects that enabled Africans to forage and hunt, till the soil, and assure their own protection and prosperity. The exhibition will examine how the smith’s virtuosic works can harness the powers of the natural and spiritual world, effect change and ensure protection, prestige, and status, assist with life’s challenges and transitions, and enhance the efficacies of sacred acts such as ancestor veneration, healing, fertility, and prophecy.
The exhibition ‘Beyond Compare’ introduces superlative works of art from Africa from the Ethnologisches Museum into the peerless sculpture collection of the Bode Museum. Pairs of sculptures from both continents will be placed throughout the permanent collection and a special-exhibition gallery will address specific themes. The experimental juxtaposition of works from two continents reveals possible correlations on various levels, including historic contemporaneity, iconographic and technological similarities, and artistic strategies. Despite stylistic differences, striking similarities appear in the ways works of art function in both contexts. Power figures from the Congo were used to protect villages and communities, just as Gothic depictions of the Virgin of Mercy were. At the same time comparisons also expose contrasts, as with depictions of motherhood, which rely on different visual languages in Africa and Europe and convey different messages.