Form and Function in West African Art:
The African Collection at the Allen Memorial Art Museum

King Sculpture Court
June 6 - December 21, 2003

Baga People, Guinea - Yoke Mask, 19th-20th century, wood and brass tacks.

Many African objects that are displayed as works of art in American museums today were originally created for other purposes. This installation presents a selection of objects from several West African cultures that originally functioned in various social and religious contexts. Although all of these objects possess an undeniable visual appeal, their aesthetic aspects are balanced by their primary practical functions. The objects included in this installation either belong to the permanent collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum or have been lent to the museum from the private collections of Oberlin College alumni. This exhibition is curated by Charles Mason, Curator of Asian Art at the AMAM.