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British Museum to display African art

As part of events to mark this celebration, different bodies including museums have put together exhibitions of artifacts and other items peculiar to these nations.…

As part of events to mark this celebration, different bodies including museums have put together exhibitions of artifacts and other items peculiar to these nations. One of such events is a display of images of Africa as represented on banknotes, stamps, coins, medals and seals made for the continent during the past 100 years, as stated by the British Museum. ‘’These miniature art works reflect changing national identities, and celebrate the cultures and heritage of Africa and its people.’’ This display will be on from April 1 to November 14, 2010 at the British Museum, London.  

Also in celebrating Nigeria’s fiftieth anniversary, the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in collaboration with the Fundacion Marcelino Botin, Santander and the Museum of African Art, New York, is hosting an exhibition of sculptural pieces form Ife at the same venue.

According to the organizers, the exhibition will form part of a season of African art and culture at the British Museum to coincide with the 50th anniversary of African independence celebrations in 2010.

“The exhibition will feature 109 superb pieces of Ife sculpture, drawn almost entirely from the magnificent and unparalleled collections of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. The human figures portray a wide cross-section of Ife society and include images of rulers and commoners, and depictions of youth and old age, health and disease, suffering and serenity. These artworks are widely acknowledged as outstanding in their technical sophistication and striking in their aesthetic appeal.

‘’From the 12th to the 15th centuries Ife flourished as a powerful, cosmopolitan and wealthy city-state in West Africa, in what is now modern Nigeria. It was an influential centre of trade connected to extensive local and long-distance trade networks which enabled Ife to prosper. Ife developed a refined and highly naturalistic sculptural tradition in stone, terracotta and copper to create a style unlike any in Africa at the time,’’ said organisers

The exhibition tagged Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa which is sponsored by Santander with the A.G. Leventis Foundation providing additional support began on March 4th and will run until the 6th of June.

The Museum also has on display Accent on Africa which is Tate Liverpool’s (a gallery of modern and contemporary art) Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic. It started on January 29th and will be on till April 25th. It is considered to be remarkably ‘the first UK in-depth exhibition to trace the influence of black cultures on art. The long overdue show features Chris Ofili, Ellen Gallagher, Walker Evans, Picasso, Constantin Brancusi and many more.  

‘As befits a city that was a major gateway to the Atlantic Slave Trade and is home to the International Slavery Museum, a citywide programme of parallel exhibitions will take place at the Bluecoat, FACT, Metal, Walker Art Gallery and Liverpool University.  

The British Museum’s big autumn show stays on the African continent for an atmospheric investigationof the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’, ‘Journey through the Afterlife’ from November 4th to March 6th, 2011.

A contemporary view of Africa is served up by the Design Museum, whose Urban Africa features David Adjaye’s photographs of buildings and places in Africa – all part of an ongoing project by the architect to study new patterns of urbanism.

Back at the Tate empire, it’s a typically busy year. At Tate Britain a march on Liverpool was ‘stolen’ by kicking off the year with one of the stars of the Afro Modern show, Chris Ofili beginning January 27 and ending May 16.


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