October 2, 2004-January 2, 2005

Join an interactive celebration on African art and culture, as African storytellers, dance troupes, praise singers, and artists perform in honor of an innovative exhibition of more than 150 works of contemporary and traditional art from Africa.

Explore the Exhibition

Lion Stool

This exhibition surveys the artistic achievements of just a few of the many cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. Drawn primarily from the Seattle Art Museum's remarkable African collections, the objects on view are organized into culturally specific sections representing a dozen countries. Advisors from each of these cultures bring the works on display to life on the audio tour, revealing the meanings, stories, and ideas associated with them. Video projections demonstrate how these objects, revered for their artistic mastery by Western audiences, are put to use in the ceremonies of the African communities for whom they were created.

Two sections of the exhibition explore the convergence of artistic practices from throughout Africa. “African Art in Motion” shows how fundamental ideas are expressed in the stance—standing, sitting, balancing, kneeling, and riding—of figurative sculptures from Mali to Angola. “Contemporary African Art” brings together photographs, sculpture, and other works by modern artists who, whether they live in Africa or around the globe, are inventing new forms of artistic production and extending the scope and meaning of African art.

Copyright © 2004, Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.