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?
Kevin D. Dumouchelle joined the Brooklyn Museum in 2007. He was promoted to Associate Curator for the Arts of Africa and the Pacific Islands in 2012, having served as Assistant Curator since 2008. In 2011 he conceived and curated African Innovations, the Museum’s first chronological and contextual installation of its African collection. He has also curated a number of exhibitions, and contributed to the writing and editing of a major catalogue of works in the African collection, African Art: A Century at the Brooklyn Museum, published by the Brooklyn Museum in association with DelMonico Books • Prestel in fall 2009. Dumouchelle has published on a range of topics, from architecture and canonical African sculpture to contemporary photography, and he has received numerous fellowships and awards. Dumouchelle earned an M.A. and M.Phil. in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University, where he taught art history and is completing his Ph.D. He has pursued research in Morocco, Mali, and Ghana, and is the recipient of a first-class Master’s degree in history from Oxford University and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.