Arts of Global Africa

June 16, 2018 - June 21, 2021

Exhibition Overview

El Anatsui, Lace People, 1992
Neward Museum, 2004.82.

You are not a country, Africa

you are a concept

fashioned in our minds, each to each

- Sierra Leonean poet Abioseh Nicol

“African art” does not adequately describe the creative expression, past and present, of a vast continent. The arts of Africa are as varied as the continent itself, which encompasses over fifty independent countries and thousands of languages. This diversity is reflected in the exceptional works of art on view, most of which are on long-term loan from the Newark Museum’s extensive African art collection. Bringing together historic and contemporary works in a range of different media, the selection of works presents an expansive vision of Africa’s artistry.

Unrecorded Bozo/Marka artist, Puppet representing
Mali Kònò (Bird of Mali), Newark Museum 2013.21.3

Arts of Global Africa seeks to broaden conventional ideas about African art while encouraging dialogue about its constantly evolving definition. In the exhibition, works are presented variously as art of the everyday, portraiture, dress, the spiritual world, performance, power, and the public. Together, they suggest the multiple ways we can appreciate and understand Africa’s arts.

Arts of Global Africa is a long-term installation organized by Christa Clarke, Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum, for the Brooks Museum.

Lace People, 1992

El Anatsui (born 1944, Ghana; lives and works in Nsukka, Nigeria)

Wood, pigment

Newark Museum, Purchase 2004 Membership Endowment Fund 2004.82

Puppet representing Mali Kònò (Bird of Mali), late 20th century

Unrecorded Bozo/Marka artist, Mali

Wood, paint, rubber, metal

Newark Museum, Gift of Peter and Sue Rosen, 2013  2013.21.3