African Arts Initiative

Several recent, high-profile developments have focused international attention on African art, both historic and contemporary, including its collecting, curation, and status in museums, with an intensity that has not been seen before. In the case of current dialogues about African art, this desire is further motivated by Harvard’s world-class museums--the Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology--each of which engage with art from the African continent, though in markedly different ways.

The Center for African Studies has identified a natural synergy among our faculty and our community to deepen and broaden our engagement with African arts. We envision this African Arts Initiative around four main activities:

  • Moderated conversations and interviews with artists;
  • Online art exhibitions to be hosted by the CAS Africa Office;
  • Occasional workshops like the forthcoming “Future of African Curatorial Practice”; and
  • Residencies for artists and curators at Harvard.

 

African Artist Interviews

Interview with Nelson Makamo (recordings forthcoming)

Nelson Makamo and Sarah Clunis Interview in Cabot Library Studio

 

 

Interview with Atang Tshikare (recordings forthcoming)

Atang Tshikare Photo in studio

News

Nelson Makamo and Mandisi Dyantyis' Artist-in-Residency Conversation and Concert

April 28, 2022

On April 28, 2022, the Harvard community was treated to a unique opportunity to hear from acclaimed international artist Nelson Makamo and jazz musician and composer Mandisi Dyantyis for a conversation about how art informs art and reflections on their experiences as artists-in-residence at the Harvard Center for African Studies as the two-week residency came to an end.

...

Read more about Nelson Makamo and Mandisi Dyantyis' Artist-in-Residency Conversation and Concert

The Center for African Studies Launches the Artist-in-Residence Program

April 11, 2022

As part of the Harvard Center for African Studies' African Arts Initiative, Leverett House has partnered with the Center for African Studies to bring the inaugural cohort of the Artist-in-Residence Program. For the two next weeks, visual artist Nelson Makamo and musician Mandisi Dyantyis, both from South Africa, will offer interactive workshops together at Leverett House that will culminate in an exhibition of student art...

Read more about The Center for African Studies Launches the Artist-in-Residence Program

Events - Past and Present

2022 Mar 31

Artist Talk: Young Joo Lee and Akosua Adoma Owusu

7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: 

Virtual

Register Here

The Carpenter Center is  fortunate to have an impressive and wide-ranging group of artists working across photography, participatory and performance-based practices, painting and drawing, and video teaching in the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies (AFVS). Join them at 7:00 pm EST for two presentations by artists and...

Read more about Artist Talk: Young Joo Lee and Akosua Adoma Owusu
2019 Dec 05

African Twilight: Vanishing Ceremonies of the African Continent

4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

Center for African Studies Lounge - 1280 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd Floor, Cambridge, MA

African Twilight Event Poster

 

For the last forty years American born Carol Beckwith and Australian Angela Fisher have journeyed over 300,000 miles travelling through 44 countries and recording over 150 cultures on the African continent. Their recently published...

Read more about African Twilight: Vanishing Ceremonies of the African Continent
2019 Mar 08

Art Study Center Seminar: Painted Piety—The Art of Religious Devotion in Morocco

11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: 

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street Cambridge MA

In this seminar, Mounia Chekhab Aboudaya, curator for North Africa and Iberia at the Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha, Qatar, and Rachel Parikh, the Calderwood Curatorial Fellow in South Asian Art at the Harvard Art Museums, will explore the religious and artistic context behind a large, calligraphic panel venerating the Prophet Muhammad.

This recent acquisition, created in 20th-century Morocco, is as enigmatic as it is striking—there is no known devotional panel like it. However, drawing from other objects, such as pilgrimage guides and prayer books, within Harvard Art Museums...

Read more about Art Study Center Seminar: Painted Piety—The Art of Religious Devotion in Morocco
2019 Mar 06

Art and Religious Devotion in Morocco: Notes on a Calligraphic Panel from the Harvard Art Museums

6:00pm to 7:15pm

Location: 

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street Cambridge MA

A large-scale calligraphic panel from Morocco features stylized views of Mecca and Medina and representation of the Prophet Muhammad’s sandals, alongside prayers praising the Prophet and a selection of verses from the Qur’an.

This striking work raises the broad question of representational imagery in an Islamic devotional context as well as the more specific matter of artistic transfer from illustrated copies of the Dala’il al-Khayrat (The Ways of Edification). This famous collection of prayers blessing the Prophet, compiled by the 15th-century Sufi mystic...

Read more about Art and Religious Devotion in Morocco: Notes on a Calligraphic Panel from the Harvard Art Museums
  •  
  • 1 of 2
  • »