Exhibitions: African Innovations

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    African Innovations

    • Dates: August 12, 2011 through September 28, 2014
    • Collections: Arts of Africa
    Press Releases ?
    • April 1, 2011: Beginning August 12, 2011, the Brooklyn Museum will present a long-term installation of 200 of the finest objects from its renowned collection of African art in the recently renovated gallery space on the first floor. African Innovations, a chronological and contextual reinstallation, will be on view while the galleries in which the African collection has been installed since 1935 undergo large-scale renovation.

      African Innovations, in which works will be arranged historically for the first time, will be framed on either end by two displays. The first, containing masterpieces from the seventh century B.C.E. to 1800 C.E. by artists ranging from those of ancient Nok and Hellenistic North Africa to the Sapi of Sierra Leone and sculptors of the ancient kingdom of Benin, will establish a pattern of Africa’s ongoing interaction with other parts of the world. The other display, with a selection of contemporary works, will bring this story up to the present and represents the Museum’s first dedicated space for works from present-day Africa.

      Selections from the African collection’s largest portion, which dates from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, will be installed between these two end displays, organized by five themes: protection, authority, transitions, performance, and personal beauty.

      Among the works on view will be the sculpture Figure of a Horn Blower, an important example of Benin’s history of stylized naturalism; Mother with Child (Lupingu Lua Luimpe), a Lulua sculpture from the Democratic Republic of the Congo that is considered to be one of the great masterpieces of African art; Snake Pendant, a small, delicate work in gold by an unknown Ebrié or Baule artist; and Skipping Girl by Yinka Shonibare, a contemporary artist whose figures examine the history of interaction between Europe and Africa, making particular use of Dutch wax fabric, a commodity created in Europe and sold in West Africa.

      The Brooklyn Museum was the first museum in America to display African objects as works of art and has one of the largest and most important collections in the country. African Innovations continues the Museum’s pioneering history in the field, inviting the visitor to examine the Museum’s world-famous collection with new eyes and to celebrate centuries of African creativity.

      This reinstallation has been organized by Kevin Dumouchelle, Assistant Curator, Arts of Africa and the Pacific Islands, Brooklyn Museum.

      Press Area of Website View Original

    Press Coverage of this Exhibition ?

    • ART REVIEW; In Brightest AfricaSeptember 2, 2011 By HOLLAND COTTER"The Brooklyn Museum is doing some territorial reshuffling on its first floor. What has long been the gift shop will soon be a new cafe, while the shop itself will move into a former exhibition gallery nearby. The change will give the museum's two primary social and commercial attractions a gain in size or visibility, but in the process art is..."
    • The ListingsSeptember 9, 2011 "Art Museums and galleries are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted. Full reviews of recent art shows: nytimes.com/art. Museums American Folk Art Museum: 'Super Stars: Quilts From the American Folk Art Museum' (through Dec. 31) This location is featuring 20 quilts in which stars figure in some way, whether as pieced-together geometric forms or as..."
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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
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