New Installation of African Art

New Installation of African Art
Ongoing Installation
East Ambulatory

This installation demonstrates the diversity of African visual expression and material culture, challenging Western conceptions of the continent as a homogenous cultural sphere. Featuring works from the museum’s African collection, it spans 11 distinct ethnic groups, 11 contemporary African nations, and 500 years of history. The installation draws attention to the pragmatic and symbolic dimensions of the objects on display, situating them in historical context, and interrogates the commercial and colonial processes that produced them and brought them to American museums. The selection was curated by students in the seminar “African Art in Museums: From Collection to Display” under the direction of Matthew Rarey, assistant professor of the arts of Africa and the Black Atlantic.

Image: Phemba (Figure of a Mother and Child), late 19th or early 20th century
Yombe artists, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gift in honor of Alexandra Gould (OC 2011), 2011.26.46