Yinka Shonibare MBE, born United Kingdom, 1961, Skipping Girl, From a series of 7 mannequins titled Mother and Father Worked Hard So I Can Play, 2009.

A Reconsideration of Brooklyn Museum's Notable African Holdings

Unknown Ejagham Artist, Emblem of the Leopard Spirit Society (Nkpa), Place made: Southwest Province Cameroon, 19th century, Wood, animal skulls, plant fiber, iron, Overall: 94 x 91.4 x 22.9cm, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Edo Artist, Figure of a Hornblower, Place made: Benin, Edo State Nigeria, ca. 1500-1550, Copper alloy, Overall: 62.2 x 21.6 x 15.2cm, Other: 62.2 x 21.6 x 15.2cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection.

Unknown Bamileke Artist, Kuosi Society Elephant Mask, Place made: Grassfields region Cameroon, 20th century, Cloth, beads, raffia, fiber, Overall: 144.1 x 54.6cm, Other: 144.1 x 54.6cm, Purchased with funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Milton F. Rosenthal, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Chokwe Artist, Chief's Chair, Possible place made: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Possible place made: Angola, 19th century, Copper alloy, animal hide, wood, Overall: 67.9 x 30.5 x 39.4 cm, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Viyé Diba (Senegalese, b. 1954), Red Escape II, Dakar, Senegal, 1999, Cotton strip cloth, paint, sand, wood, metal, Gift of Elliot Picket, by exchange and Alfred T. White Fund, 2011, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Bamum Artist or Tikar Artist, Funerary Headdress (Tugunga), Place made: Northwest Province, Grasslands region Cameroon, Late 19th century, Wood, rattan, pigment, Overall: [H]: 83.8 x 36 x 36 cm, Gift of Mrs. Melville W. Hall, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Ebrié Artist or Baule Artist, Snake Pendant, Place made: Lagunes Region, Ivory Coast, 19th century, Gold alloy, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Figure of Mother and Child (Phemba), Possible place made: Kongo Central Province Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19th century, Wood, beads, glass mirror, metal, Overall: 27.9 x 12.7 x 11.4 cm, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

 

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
718-638-5000
Brooklyn
African Innovations
August 12, 2011-Ongoing

Brooklyn Museum presents 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, is on view while the galleries in which the African collection has been installed since 1935 undergo large-scale renovation.

African Innovations, in which are arranged historically for the first time, are 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 19th to the mid-20th century, is 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.

Unknown Punu Artist, Mask for the Okuyi Society (Mukudj), Place made: Gabon, Nguni River, Late 19th century, Wood, pigment, Overall: 25.1 x 17.8 x 15.2cm, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Master of Ntem, Fang (Mvai subgroup) Artist, Reliquary Guardian Figure (Eyema-o-Byeri), Place made: Gabon, Ntem River basin, 1750-1860, Wood, iron, Overall: 58.4 x 14.9 x 12.7 cm, Other: 23 x 5 7/8in. (58.4 x 14.9cm, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

The Nguabu Master, Unknown Mende Artist, Helmet Mask (ndoli jowei) for Sande Society, Place made: Sierra Leone, Late 19th-early 20th century, Wood, Overall: 39.4 x 23.5 x 26 cm, Carll H. de Silver Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Nalu Artist or Baga Artist, Banda Mask, Place made: Guinea, Late 19th or early 20th century, Wood, metal, pigment, Overall: 56.2 x 40 x 39.1cm, Other: 156.2 x 40 x 39.1cm, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Makonde Artist, Lipiko Mask, Place made: Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, 19th century, Wood, hair, fiber, pigment, Overall: 33 x 26 x 28.6 cm, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Magdalene Anyango N. Odundo, British, born Kenya 1950, Vessel, Place made: Farnham, Surrey United Kingdom, 1990, Ceramic, slip, Overall: 40.6 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm, Purchased with funds given by Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Clyman, and the Frank L. Babbott Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Lega Artist, Three-Headed Figure (Sakimatwemtwe), Place made: Sud-Kivu or Maniema Province Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19th century, Wood, fiber, pigment, Overall: 14 x 5.1 x 2.9 cm, Museum Exhibition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Yoruba Artist, Beaded Crown (Ade) of Onijagbo Obasoro Alowolodu, Ogoga of Ikere, 1890-1928, Place made: Osun State Nigeria, Late 19th century, Fiber, beads, cloth, basketry, Overall: 95.9 x 24.1 cm, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Frederick Loeser Fund, and the Carll H. de Silver Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Ogoni Artist, Elu Mask with Hinged Jaw, Place made: Rivers State Nigeria, Early 20th century, Wood, fiber, Overall: 18.4 x 14.6cm, Other: 18.4 x 14.6cm, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Milton Gross, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Unknown Lulua Artist, Mother with Child (Lupingu Lua Luimpe), Place made: Lulua, Province Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19th century, Wood, copper alloy, Overall: 35.6 x 8.6 x 8.9 cm, Museum Collection Fund, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

 

Unknown Yoruba Artist, Fragment of a Head, place made: Ife Nigeria, 1100-1500, Terracotta, Overall: 15.2 x 8.3 x 9.5cm, Collection of Robin B. Martin.