Friday, December 30, 2011
African Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Our history topic at the moment is Ancient Africa. I think art has a huge place in making history come alive, and we always try to find a museum with collections relevant to our studies. We were really blessed to find several this time around.
Our first visit was to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we wandered the African galleries and took in one of the current special exhibits entitled: Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures. (Unfortunately, no photography rules apply to special exhibits).
Mikro is fascinated by African masks, especially those of the Dogon people. He really liked the gold staff head representing Ananzi from the ancient kingdom of Benin, and the Yoruba beaded hummingbird crown. A lot of African art on display is only a couple of hundred years old because the climate does not lend itself to preservation of delicate materials. But Africans were making sophisticated sculpture, metalwork, pottery and masks thousands of years ago. My particular favorites from the Met's collections were the Benin bronzes.
Here are some of the beautiful and awe inspiring things we saw from the world's second largest continent: