The Africa Center does not have any exhibitions currently on view while construction takes place at our new home at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street in Manhattan.
As the Museum for African Art, we 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. 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.
Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali
Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali provides a comprehensive examination of the Bamana people of West Africa. Westerners have long thought African society is governed by ancestry and ethnicity. But in fact we come to recognize that more profound characteristics pertaining to philosophy and ethics are stronger influences as revealed by this study of the Bamana way of life. Through the learned secretly guarded knowledge of proper, prescribed behavior the Bamana appease forces of nature or spirits to ensure their beneficence toward the human community (and its continuity). At appropriate milestones in their lives they acquire this essential knowledge through study and initiation into associations differentiated by gender, age, or power. The masks and objects are visible manifestations created to communicate with these forces or to teach ideals and correct behavior.
Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali toured to the following venue: Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin (2003).