Bard Graduate Center Stages Historic “Exhibiting Africa” Symposium with Brooklyn Museum.

This timely symposium explores present-day perspectives on the display of the arts and material culture of Africa and the Diaspora, examines its historiography in Western cultural institutions, and considers directions for its future.

The event coincides with exhibitions at each of its host institutions that contribute new approaches to display practices in the field. Convened by Drew Thompson and Annissa Malvoisin, curators, scholars, and faculty members at Bard Graduate Center, the event features discussions among thought leaders whose expertise ranges from the ancient to the contemporary, including Andrea Myers Achi (Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art), Solange Ashby (UCLA), Antawan I.Byrd (Northwestern), Sandrine Colard (Rutgers-Newark, Kanal-Pompidou Museum), Kevin D. Dumouchelle (National Museum of African Art), Geoff Emberling (Michigan), N’Goné Fall (curator and cultural policies specialist), Silvia Forni (Fowler Museum, UCLA), Alisa LaGamma (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Mpho Matsipa (Columbia GSAPP), Nontsikelelo Mutiti (Yale School of Art), and Tobias Wofford (VCU).

Thursday at BGC
1:30 Welcome and introduction
1:45 Panel 1: Design and Display: N’Goné Fall, Mpho Matsipa, Nontsikelelo Mutiti
3:15 Coffee break
3:45 Panel 2: Classical / Contemporary: Alisa LaGamma, Sandrine Colard, Kevin D. Dumouchelle

Friday at the Brooklyn Museum
11:15 Welcome and introduction
11:30 Panel 1: Ancient and Medieval Africa: Geoff Emberling, Andrea Myers Achi, Solange Ashby
1:00 Break
2:00 Panel 2: Representation and Consumption: Silvia Forni, Antawan I. Byrd, Tobias Wofford
Speaker Bios–Thursday, October 19: Bard Graduate Center
Panel 1: Design and Display

Discussant: N’Goné Fall is an independent curator and cultural policies specialist. She is the author of strategic plans for national and international institutions. She has held a professorship at the Senghor University, Egypt, and has lectured at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, South Africa, and Abdou Moumouni University, Niger.

Mpho Matsipa is an educator, researcher and curator. She received her PhD in Architecture from UC Berkeley as a Fulbright Scholar. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at GSAPP and an associate curator for the Lubumbashi Biennale 2024 (DRC).

Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwe-born graphic designer, artist and educator. Mutiti is the director of Graduate Studies for graphic design at Yale School of Art.

Panel 2: Classical / Contemporary

Discussant: Alisa LaGamma is the Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Curator in charge of the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sandrine Colard is assistant professor of art history at Rutgers-Newark University in the United States, and associate curator at the Kanal-Pompidou Museum in Brussels .

Kevin D. Dumouchelle joined the National Museum of African Art in October 2016. His most recent exhibition, Heroes: Principles of African Greatness was awarded a Smithsonian Excellence in Exhibitions Award.
Speaker Bios–Friday, October 20: Brooklyn Museum
Panel 1: Ancient and Medieval Africa

Geoff Emberling
is a research scientist at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and lecturer in Mesopotamian and Nubian archaeology in the Department of Middle East studies. He received his PhD in anthropology and Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan.

Andrea Myers Achi
is Mary and Michael Jaharis Associate Curator of Byzantine Art in the Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Solange Ashby
is assistant professor of Egyptology and Nubian studies in Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. She received her PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Ashby’s expertise in sacred ancient languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic, and Meroitic, underpins her research into the history of religious transformation in Northeast Africa.

Panel 2: Representation and Consumption

Discussant: Dr. Silvia Forni joined the Fowler Museum as Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director in December 2022. Before moving to Los Angeles, she served as Senior Curator of Global Africa and Deputy Vice President of the Department of Art and Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Antawan I. Byrd, PhD, is assistant professor of art history at Northwestern University and an associate curator of photography and media at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tobias Wofford is an associate professor of art history. His research explores the meeting of globalization and identity in the art of the African Diaspora since the 1950s, as well as concepts of diversity and multiculturalism in art of the US.
Co-organized by Annissa Malvoisin (Bard Graduate Center / Brooklyn Museum Postdoctoral Fellow in the Arts of Africa) and Drew Thompson (associate professor of visual culture and Black studies, Bard Graduate Center)
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