The DMA’s Conservation and Arts of Africa departments, in an exciting and cutting-edge collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center, will present CT scans of a Senufo helmet mask from the Museum’s African art collection. This kind of mask is worn like a helmet by a medium at initiations, funerals, harvest celebrations and secret events conducted by the powerful male-only Komo society, which has traditionally maintained social and spiritual harmony in Senufo villages in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Visible attachments on the mask include a female figure, cowrie shells, and imported glassware. The CT-scans reveal unexpected materials beneath the surface and objects contained in the attached animal horns that empower the mask.
In 2020 it will be exactly one hundred years ago that Antwerp, in full colonial time, acquired its Congolese museum collection. What are the stories behind the Congolese objects? And how did they end up in the port city? The exhibition focuses on a hundred unique Congolese works and examines their significance for various Congolese peoples. You learn about the impact of Christian missions on Congolese culture and about the view of Congolese people on the 'white' (global).
The first major survey of the celebrated London-based painter. Widely considered to be one of the most important painters of her generation, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a British artist and writer acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people. Her paintings often allude to historic European portraiture – notably Francisco de Goya, John Singer Sargent and Édouard Manet – yet in subject matter and technique, her approach is decidedly contemporary. Through her focus on the depiction of imagined black characters, Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings raise important questions of identity and representation. This exhibition will bring together over 80 paintings and works on paper from 2003 to the present day in the most extensive survey of the artist’s career to date.
After the Tate Modern in London, the MEP will present the first major retrospective in France devoted to the work of the South African "visual activist" Zanele Muholi. Born in South Africa, Zanele Muholi began to distinguish themselves at the dawn of the 2000s with photos seeking to document the life of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex people, far from the representation that is usually made between deviance and victimisation. The work of Zanele Muholi defies ideology and hetero-patriarchal representations, presenting their subjects as confident, beautiful beings, who dare to exist with courage despite prejudice, intolerance and very often violence towards them.
This exhibition highlights artistic innovation and creativity in Africa as seen primarily through the traditions of ceramic arts from across the continent and over its long history. Countering the assumption that African arts and societies are largely unchanging and bound to traditions and customs, the remarkable diversity of objects and styles on display here tells a different story. A selection of more than 50 works on loan from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, including those by newly discovered Nigerian artist Alice Osayewe, are shown alongside works from the Harvard Art Museums permanent collections, such as a recently acquired contemporary photograph by Afro-futurist artist Alexis Peskine.
Be your best. This is the quest that the greatest of heroes model for us. Through their journeys, struggles, and triumphs, exceptional individuals exemplify values that we celebrate in tales of heroic accomplishment. Through art, artists tell such stories—stories of the world’s current complexity, but also visions of a world that could yet be. Heroes: Principles of African Greatness features artworks from the National Museum of African Art’s permanent collection that tell the story of key heroic principles and personages in Africa’s arts and history. Throughout, core values are considered as each artwork is paired with a specific historic African individual who embodies the value expressed in the selected work. Discover Africa’s heroes—some well-known, others perhaps surprising—and see artworks in new ways.