Public Programs: America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

Period of Performance

10/1/2012 - 2/28/2015

Funding Totals

$352,000.00 (approved)
$352,000.00 (awarded)

Material Journeys: African Art in Motion

FAIN: GI-50498-12

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN 55404-3506)
Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers (Project Director: January 2012 to May 2017)

Implementation of a reinstallation of the museum's collection of African art, new interactive interpretive components, and public programs focusing on the social context of the art and the ways in which it reveals the exchange of ideas with other cultures.

The project will reinstall the museum's three galleries of African art, mounting a permanent exhibition, "Material Journeys: African Art in Motion"; install interpretive interactive components; and host public programs, including a scholarly symposium. The subject of the project is the cross-cultural transactions and dynamic aesthetics of artists across Africa since the ancient Egypt period. Drawing on current art historical and anthropological scholarship, which provides deeper information about the objects, and post-colonial interpretive strategies, which reveal and deconstruct the racial biases inherent in Western perceptions of African art in previous eras, the project aims to dispel notions of stasis, isolation, and primitivism adhering to the objects. The exhibition design will support the theme of African art as a kinetic entity, often linked to performance, that has evolved from wide circulation of ideas as artists, objects, and materials traversed continental boundaries.