Three-Headed Figure (Sakimatwemtwe). Unidentified Lega artist. South Kivu or Maniema province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19th century. Wood, fiber, kaolin, 5 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/8 in. (14 x 5.1 x 2.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.486
South Gallery, 1st floor
A complete reinstallation of roughly 200 works from the Brooklyn Museum’s world-renowned collection of African art, African Innovations is organized with a particular focus on the aesthetic, social, political, and cosmological problems addressed by African artists through their work. A dynamic and diverse range of objects that includes wood sculpture, metal casting, terracotta, textiles, and beadwork, African art has a long history of adaptation to and exchange with cultures near and far.
Marking the first time that the Museum’s African collection has been arranged chronologically, African Innovations invites the visitor to examine the continent’s long record of artistic excellence, extending from ancient times through the present day.The installation stretches over some 2,500 years, from masterworks of ancient Nubia and Nok to contemporary pieces from the twenty-first century. Art from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which comprises the majority of the collection, will be considered according to five themes: protection, transitions, authority, masquerade, and personal beauty. A concluding section, the Museum’s first dedicated space for contemporary African works, will contain pieces by artists such as Viyé Diba, Magdalene Odundo, and Yinka Shonibare. Each of these artists claims a part in African art history while drawing on global perspectives—thus continuing the ongoing history of African innovation.
African Innovations is organized by Kevin D. Dumouchelle, Assistant Curator, Arts of Africa & the Pacific Islands, Brooklyn Museum.
it was amazing, the exhibit emphasized that the mask had a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. Instead, they were used for religious purposes as well. Showing the video also gives the viewers a better understanding of how they were used, instead of the viewer using their imagintion to put the peices into perspective.
My fiancé and I really enjoyed this exhibit. It reminded us of a course we took in college together.
Absolutely beautiful, I learned far more than I expected. It's always nice to come away from an exhibition feeling more informed.
I love this exhibit, especially thw way that it shows masks are not just masks, but have a social and religious importance and are part of an outfit and have significance to communities. I liked the modern African or diaspora works of art, as well as the video showing the dancing at a ceremony. In this way, the musuem importantly shows that these masks are not just a part of Africa's past, but present, and that the interaction between fluid societies and their art constantly is shaping the art works themselves.