Thinking further about our unexpected cameo on Treme the other week, there are even further connections to our own collection that can be made to the Loma mask highlighted on the show.
Despite the considerable geographic distance between them, the Loma and the Senufo share not only a similarly named institution in the form of Poro, but also a genre of ‘horizontal’ wooden masks used for their generally protective and law enforcement capacities. Brooklyn has a number of wonderfully potent examples, some of which have (regrettably) not been on view for some time.
Extending our reach even slightly further (and in response to an influential question posed in the 1990s in an African art journal—Is there history in horizontal masks?), there is an intriguing case to be made for connections to more well-known horizontal masks in Brooklyn’s collection that have long been on view, and will return later this summer in our new African Innovations re-installation (more on that very soon).
Maybe next season?