A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Arts of Africa at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
sheer number and geographical origin of the works are impressive : from the
ancient Nubian pottery and sculptures to
Berber jewelry, from masks - richly decorated and carefully carved - to beadwork
from East Africa, including crosses and contemporary
art, this exhibition is a condensed
history. The curators have chosen to focus mainly on the sculpture of West and
An exhibition of this size and importance is difficult to put together, and the best idea was to group the pieces geographically, so the viewer could literally ponder through various regions of Africa, from west to east and from north to south, discovering the artistic tradition and often genious of the now passed away masters. Many of these artists' names have remained a mistery.
the visitor has the chance of understanding the cultural, hystorical and
ethnical context in which these type of works were made. The role that art plays
in African everyday life is also presented by means of panels, labels,
photographs and videos.
The gallery also shows textiles, ceramics, jewelry, masks, and figures from more than 50 different cultures.
the most famous pieces on view in the gallery are a figure of a hornblower, cast
in brass for the king of Benin in the 16th century, and an ivory gong also made
for the royal court in Benin at about the same time. A seventeenth-century
figure of a N'Dop Kuba king is the only one from that period in
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