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Twentieth Century African Art

  • Man's Prestige Cloth: Akan People 1900's

    Man's Prestige Cloth: Akan People 1900's
    Brilliantly colored and elaborately woven textiles known as kente are worn by individuals of distinction throughout the Asante society.
  • South African Beadwork

    South African Beadwork
    South African beadwork is an art of vibrant colors, sophisticated patterns, and varied textures. The works on view were made by women from three population groups in the area: the Mfengu, the Zulu, and the Ndebele.
  • Plank Mask (Nwantantay)

    Plank Mask (Nwantantay)
    The imagery found in masks of the Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba, Mossi, and others living in Burkina Faso commonly combine the stylized features of humans, animals, and even insects. Bold geometric shapes repeated in brightly painted designs enliven the surfaces of these relatively abstract forms. When used in performances the masks embody nature or ancestor spirits that interact with human beings and influence their lives.
  • Adire African Text styles

    Adire African Text styles
    1900-1910 Post card by F.W.H. Arkhurst. Women's fashion from The Niger Delta to the Ivory Coast.
  • The Song Of The Pitch by Gerard Sekoto

    The Song Of The Pitch by Gerard Sekoto
  • African Vintage Carved Mahogany Stool (Restored)

    African Vintage Carved Mahogany Stool (Restored)
    Hand carved of solid mahogany by the Ashanti people of Ghana, this rugged traditional stool was hand hewn around 60 years ago.
  • Black Girl by Ousmane Sembene

    Black Girl by Ousmane Sembene
    The film centers on Diouana, a young Senegalese woman, who moves from Dakar, Senegal to Antibes, France to work for a rich French couple. In France, Diouana hopes to continue her former nanny job and anticipates a cosmopolitan lifestyle. But from her arrival in Antibes, Diouana experiences harsh treatment from the couple, who force her to work as a servant.
  • Africa's Mona Lisa by Ben Enwonwu

    Africa's Mona Lisa by Ben Enwonwu
    The painting, simply titled "Christine", is of Christine Davis, an American hairstylist who moved to Lagos with her British husband and struck up a friendship with the painter. "Christine" was completed in 1971.
  • Girl with folded arms

     Girl with folded arms
    Maggie Laubser (1886 - 1973): her paintings, drawings and graphics, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Maggie Laubser (1886 - 1973)
  • The Rumble in the Jungle

    The Rumble in the Jungle
    The Rumble in the Jungle was a historic boxing event in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30, 1974. Held at the 20th of May Stadium (now the Stade Tata Raphaël), it pitted the undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman against challenger Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion. The event had an attendance of 60,000 people. Ali won by knockout, putting Foreman down just before the end of the eighth round.
  • Winnie Mandela

    Winnie Mandela
    Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, wife of imprisoned ANC leader, Nelson Mandela, was banished to the dusty Afrikaner dominated town of Brandfort in the Free State where she was unceremoniously dumped at house 802 with her youngest daughter, Zinzi. There was no running water or electricity and the house had no floors or ceilings
  • FELA Colonial Mentality

    FELA Colonial Mentality
    In these lyrics, Fela is speaking to the general African population. He argues that despite direct and physical implementations of colonialism ending, as colonial superpowers began to leave the continent as early as 1957, that the minds of African people were still stuck in the psychological bondage of the colonial mentality.
  • Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela
    Unattributed ink sketch of Nelson Mandela, circa 1980. FCO 105/442 Civil disturbance in South Africa: political prisoners, including James Mange and Nelson Mandela, 1980.
  • The God's Must Be Crazy

    The God's Must Be Crazy
    The tribal people in a remote African desert live a happy life, but it is all torn to pieces when a Coca-Cola bottle falls from a plane. With the villagers fighting over the strange foreign object, tribal leader Xi decides to take the bottle back to the gods to restore peace
  • Journey to Jo’burg Novel

    Journey to Jo’burg Novel
    Thirteen-year-old Naledi lives with Nono (her grandmother), Tiro (her brother), and Dineo (her baby sister) in a small South African village 300 kilometers from Johannesburg. After her father’s death, her mother, Mma, has had to work in Johannesburg for money for the family.
  • Sarafina Musical by Dr. Mbongeni Ngema

    Sarafina Musical by Dr. Mbongeni Ngema
    One of South Africa’s most iconic symbols of the struggle for social and political freedom and justice, Sarafina! was conceived and directed by Dr. Mbongeni Ngema who has written and arranged the music and lyrics with additional songs by Hugh Masekela.
    This historical musical takes place at Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto, where in 1976, about 200,000 black students assembled to protest.
  • Steve Biko Tribute By Willie Bester

    Steve Biko Tribute By Willie Bester
    In his work Tribute to Steve Biko (1992), Bester honours a fallen anti-apartheid agitator so people remember what was needed to end apartheid not pandering to the oppressors through lobbying and 'debate', but mobilisation on the streets.
  • Sarafina Film

    Sarafina Film
    As tentions of Apatheid spreads accross South Africa, many students revolts to massive stone throw, a demonstration that comes in a wake of the introduction of Afrikanas language as a means of teaching. This sparks riots among school age young people who have resolved to do what it takes for freedom to come tomorrow.
  • Of Water and The Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Somé

    Of Water and The Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Somé
    Malidoma, whose name means "be friends with the stranger/enemy, " was born under the shadow of French colonial rule in Upper Volta, West Africa. When he was four years old, he was taken by a Jesuit priest and imprisoned in a seminary built for training a new generation of "black" Catholic priests. In spite of his isolation from his tribe and his village, Malidoma stubbornly refused to forget where he had come from and who he was.
  • Red Orgy by Walter Battiss

    Red Orgy by Walter Battiss
    At times, artworks centred on themes of erotica run the risk of producing images of sex without intimacy, lust without guilt or sin without consequence. In this body of work the viewer is left unaware of both the frustrations that come with censorship and the deep sigh of relief that one gets in knowing that we are no longer bound by the limitations of our social norms.