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EXHIBITIONS

The Africa Center is not currently organizing exhibitions while construction takes place at our new home on Fifth Avenue and 110th Street in Manhattan.

Our final traveling exhibition as The Museum for African Art is Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria, which is on view at the Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg, Sweden, from 12 April - 30 November 2014.

Museum for African Art exhibitions are widely recognized for pioneering the way African art is seen and understood, presenting insightful perspectives on the rich diversity of African art and cultures. The Museum organized nearly 70 exhibitions that traveled to over 143 venues in 17 countries, bringing the art and cultures of Africa to a wide array of audiences worldwide.

Current Traveling Exhibitions

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria is a landmark exhibition devoted to the art of Ife, the ancient city-state of the Yoruba people of West Africa (in present-day southwestern Nigeria). The exhibition highlights the artistic accomplishments of this unique 12th- to 15th-century civilization and examines how factors of dynastic power and divine authority shaped their exceptional arts. Featuring more than 100 extraordinary bronze, terra-cotta, and stone sculptures ranging in date from the 9th to the 15th centuries, Dynasty and Divinity presents many works that have never before been on display outside of Nigeria.

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Past Exhibitions

A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art

A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art

Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art features Congolese urban art that portrays the life and tragic death of Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the Congo after its independence from Belgium in 1960. The exhibition consists of approximately 90 works, including a series of nearly 50 paintings by Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu, an influential artist of the 1970s, and a number of recent works by other Congolese contemporary artists who emulate his style. These paintings demonstrate how memories of Lumumba were transformed into a powerful visual narrative of a popular cultural hero.

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Art of the Lega: Meaning and Metaphor in Central Africa

Art of the Lega: Meaning and Metaphor in Central Africa

Co-organized by the UCLA Fowler Museum at UCLA and The Nelson-Atkins Museum and co-presented by the Museum for African Art and the AXA Gallery, September 21, 2006–January 14, 2007 at the AXA Gallery, New York, New York

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At Arm's Length: The Art of African Puppetry

At Arm's Length: The Art of African Puppetry

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented February 17–April 15, 2006 at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery, New York, New York

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Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali

Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented September 19–July 28, 2002 at the Museum's 593 Broadway location, New York, New York

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Baule: African Art/Western Eyes

Baule: African Art/Western Eyes

Organized by the Museum for African Art in cooperation with the Yale University Art Gallery and presented September 11, 1998–January 1999 at the Museum's 593 Broadway location, New York, New York

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Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Organized by the Museum for African Art and co-presented with arts > World Financial Center, September 28–November 25, 2007 at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery, New York, New York

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Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermes Collection

Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermes Collection

Collected over three decades by Xavier Guerrand-Hermes, this unique collection reveals the astonishing power of traditional North African jewelry.Crafted from silver and semiprecious stones, the jewels, from simple ornaments that would be worn by a child to elaborate necklaces for women of wealth, illustrate the cultural diversity as well as the common themes that run through North African societies. The accompanying photographs depict the daily life of North African people as well as the breathtaking landscape and archaeological monuments that caught the attention of Westerners in the late 19th and early 20th century.

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Design: Made in Africa

Design: Made in Africa

Co-produced by CulturesFrance and the Cite du Design/Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale and co-presented with Arts> World Financial Center, April 12–June 24, 2007 at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery, New York, New York

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Doubly Blessed: The Ibeji Twins of Nigeria

Doubly Blessed: The Ibeji Twins of Nigeria

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented October 23, 2003June 28, 2004 at the Museum's temporary gallery, Long Island City, New York

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El Anatsui: Process and Project

El Anatsui: Process and Project

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented March 25May 2, 2009 at BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, New York

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El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa brings together the full range of El Anatsui's work, from wood trays made in Ghana referencing traditional Akan symbols, early ceramics from the Broken Pots series, through chainsaw-carved wood, to his most recent luminous metal sculptures and wall hangings. Anatsui has gained international acclaim for his dazzling metallic hangings made from liquor bottle caps. In these sculptures, as in wood and ceramics, Anatsui pieces together monumental visual statements that refer to global, local, and personal histories.

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Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art

Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art

Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art presents the remarkable beauty of coiled basketry and demonstrates how the utilitarian rice fanner and market basket can be viewed simultaneously as objects of use, containers of memory, and works of art. The exhibition features 225 objects including baskets from the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia and from diverse regions of Africa, as well as African sculpture from the rice-growing societies which, through the agency of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, exported their cultures to America.

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Hair in African Art and Culture

Hair in African Art and Culture

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented February 9–May 29, 2000 at the Museum's 593 Broadway location, New York, New York

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Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist is the first museum retrospective of the exemplary career of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi. Bringing together approximately 80 works from five decades of the artist's career, the retrospective highlights one of the most significant figures in African and Arab Modernist art, and reveals his place in the context of a global art history. The exhibition traces a personal journey that originates in Sudan and leads to the artist's international schooling, his detention as a political prisoner in his home country, his self-imposed exile in Qatar, and his current life in the United Kingdom.

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In the Presence of Spirits: Selections from the National Museum of Ethnology, Lisbon

In the Presence of Spirits: Selections from the National Museum of Ethnology, Lisbon

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented September 27December 31, 2000 at the Museum's 593 Broadway location, New York, New York

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Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope)

Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope)

Jane Alexander is one of the most significant South African artists working today. Her animal-human sculptures, photographs, and dramatic installations speak of lasting disfigurations in her native South Africa, yet raise issues about human nature that resonate with viewers internationally. Alexander's hybrid-mutants inhabit a universe where boundaries between self and other, human and animal, are unstable, where shared foundations and clashing differences are disclosed, and where the grotesque and the familiar entwine. Alexander "has arguably created and developed one of the most compelling personal galaxies of the contemporary art universe." (Pep Subiros, On Being Human)

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Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa

Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented September 17, 1999January 2, 2000 at the Museum's 593 Broadway location, New York, New York

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Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora

Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented November 14, 2003March 1, 2004 at the Museum's temporary gallery, Long Island City, New York

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Material Differences: Art and Identity in Africa

Material Differences: Art and Identity in Africa

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented April 10–August 15, 2003 at the Museum's temporary gallery, Long Island City, New York

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Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art

Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented September 23, 2004January 3, 2005 at the Museum's temporary gallery, Long Island City, New York, and at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, New York

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Perspectives: Women, Art, and Islam

Perspectives: Women, Art, and Islam

Co-organized by the Museum for African Art and MoCADA and presented June 4September 13, 2009 at MoCADA, Brooklyn, New York

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Reflections: African Art Is...

Reflections: African Art Is...

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented August 4December 12, 2005 at the Museum's temporary gallery, Long Island City, New York

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Resonance from the Past: African Sculpture from the New Orleans Museum of Art

Resonance from the Past: African Sculpture from the New Orleans Museum of Art

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented August 4December 12, 2005 at the Museum’s temporary gallery, Long Island City, New York

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Set, Series and Ensembles in African Art

Organized by the Museum for African Art and presented July 17 - October 27, 1985.

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The Beautiful Time: Photography by Sammy Baloji

The Beautiful Time: Photography by Sammy Baloji

This exhibition presents the work of Sammy Baloji, a Congolese photographer and video artist who explores colonial architecture and copper mines in the city of Lubumbashi, located in the southeastern Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Visual Griots of Mali: An Exhibit of Photography by African Youth

Visual Griots of Mali: An Exhibit of Photography by African Youth

Organized by the Academy for Educational Development and co-presented by the Museum for African Art and arts > World Financial Center, September 7–November 25, 2007 at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery, New York, New York

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