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Kuba artist. Mask (Mwaash aMbooy), late 19th or early 20th century. Rawhide, paint, plant fibers, textile, cowrie shells, glass, wood, monkey pelt, feathers, 22 × 20 × 18 in. (55.9 × 50.8 × 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1582. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)


                           
                           Kuba artist. Mask (Mwaash aMbooy), late 19th or early 20th century. Rawhide, paint, plant fibers, textile, cowrie shells, glass, wood, monkey pelt, feathers, 22 × 20 × 18 in. (55.9 × 50.8 × 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1582. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Kuba artist. Mask (Mwaash aMbooy), late 19th or early 20th century. Rawhide, paint, plant fibers, textile, cowrie shells, glass, wood, monkey pelt, feathers, 22 × 20 × 18 in. (55.9 × 50.8 × 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1582. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Taiye Idahor (Nigerian, born 1984). <em>Adewunmi</em>, 2018. Photo paper collage, pen, color pencil on paper, 47<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 34<sup>13</sup>/<sub>16</sub> × 1<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (120.6 × 88.5 × 4.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift in memory of Frederic Zeller, by exchange, 2019.7. © Taiye Idahor. (Photo: Courtesy of Tyburn Gallery)<br />
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Taiye Idahor (Nigerian, born 1984). Adewunmi, 2018. Photo paper collage, pen, color pencil on paper, 471/2 × 3413/16 × 13/4 in. (120.6 × 88.5 × 4.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift in memory of Frederic Zeller, by exchange, 2019.7. © Taiye Idahor. (Photo: Courtesy of Tyburn Gallery)
 

<p>Konso artist. <em>Memorial stela (waakaa or waga)</em>, 19th century. Wood, metal, 52<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> x 6<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> x 3<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (133.4 x 16.5 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Serge and Jodie Becker-Patterson, 2000.94.4. Creative Commons-BY. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)<br />
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Konso artist. Memorial stela (waakaa or waga), 19th century. Wood, metal, 521/2 x 61/2 x 31/4 in. (133.4 x 16.5 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Serge and Jodie Becker-Patterson, 2000.94.4. Creative Commons-BY. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
 

<p>Kongo (Yombe subgroup) artist. <em>Power Figure (nkisi): Woman and Child</em>, 19th century. Wood, glass, upholstery studs, metal, metal and glass buttons, resin, 11 × 5 × 4<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> in. (27.9 × 12.7 × 11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1138. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Kongo (Yombe subgroup) artist. Power Figure (nkisi): Woman and Child, 19th century. Wood, glass, upholstery studs, metal, metal and glass buttons, resin, 11 × 5 × 41/2 in. (27.9 × 12.7 × 11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1138. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>An Ntem River Valley Master (Fang peoples, Mvaï subgroup). <em>Reliquary Guardian Figure (Eyema-o-Byeri)</em>, circa 1750–1860. Wood, iron, 23 × 5<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 5 in. (58.4 × 14.6 × 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Frank L. Babbott Fund, 51.3. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

An Ntem River Valley Master (Fang peoples, Mvaï subgroup). Reliquary Guardian Figure (Eyema-o-Byeri), circa 1750–1860. Wood, iron, 23 × 53/4 × 5 in. (58.4 × 14.6 × 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Frank L. Babbott Fund, 51.3. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Atta Kwami (Ghanaian, born 1956). <em>Another Time (Ɣebubuɣi)</em>, 2011. Acrylic on linen, 59<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 59<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (151.8 × 151.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Designated Purchase Fund, 2015.40. © Atta Kwami. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Atta Kwami (Ghanaian, born 1956). Another Time (Ɣebubuɣi), 2011. Acrylic on linen, 593/4 × 593/4 in. (151.8 × 151.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Designated Purchase Fund, 2015.40. © Atta Kwami. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828). <em>George Washington</em>, 1796. Oil on canvas, 96<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 60<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (244.5 × 153 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Museum Purchase Fund, 45.179. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828). George Washington, 1796. Oil on canvas, 961/4 × 601/4 in. (244.5 × 153 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Museum Purchase Fund, 45.179. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

African Arts—Global Conversations

February 14–November 15, 2020

African Arts—Global Conversations puts African arts where they rightfully belong: within the global art historical canon. It brings those works into greater, meaningful art historical conversations and critiques previous ways that encyclopedic museums and the field of art have or have not included them.

The exhibition’s unique transcultural approach pairs diverse African works across mediums with objects from around the world. By considering how shared themes and ideas—such as faith, origins, modernism, and portraiture—developed independently in different parts of the globe, it offers new theoretical models for discussing African arts in relation to non-African arts. Moving beyond the story of European modernists’ so-called “discovery” of African arts, it fills in the blanks in decades of art history textbooks (as shown by examples on view).

African Arts—Global Conversations presents thirty-three works, including twenty by African artists. On view are new acquisitions and never-before-exhibited objects, among others, in a first-floor introductory gallery and also in groupings on our fifth floor. Highlights include a celebrated eighteenth-century Kuba sculpture, fourteenth- to sixteenth-century Ethiopian Orthodox processional crosses, and a mid-twentieth-century Sierra Leonean Ordehlay or Jollay society mask. Also featured are recent works by Atta Kwami, Ranti Bam, Magdalene Odundo OBE, and Taiye Idahor, which are paired with artworks by Māori, Seminole, Spanish, American, Huastec, and Korean artists.

African Arts—Global Conversations is curated by Kristen Windmuller-Luna, Sills Family Consulting Curator, African Arts, Brooklyn Museum.

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