Public Programs: Museums Implementation

Period of Performance

10/1/2007 - 12/31/2011

Funding Totals

$367,200.00 (approved)
$367,200.00 (awarded)

Splendors of Ancient Ife: Dynasty and Divinity in Yoruba Art

FAIN: MI-50077-07

Museum for African Art (Long Island City, NY 10029-8405)
Enid Schildkrout (Project Director: January 2007 to April 2012)

Implementation of a traveling exhibition, a catalog, a scholarly publication, and a web site on the history and culture of the Yoruba city state of Ife in Nigeria.

"Splendors of Ancient Ife," organized by the Museum for African Art in collaboration with the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments and the Marcelino Botin Foundation (Spain), is the first large-scale Western exhibition devoted specifically to the truly remarkable art of Ife, the early (and continuous to today) Yoruba city-state. The objects on display all come from Nigeria's National Museums, and offer a extremely rare opportunity to see these extraordinary sculptures. Included will be more than one hundred of the most famous and beautiful Ife objects in bronze, terra cotta, stone, and glass. Viewers will experience one of the world's greatest art complexes, and be able to appreciate not only the technological sophistication and daring of its artists, but also the aesthetic qualities that they developed to convey cultural concerns, and the importance of art as historical witness.

Associated Products

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria (Catalog)
Title: Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria
Author: Enid Schildkrout
Author: Henry John Drewal
Abstract: Presents a major part of the extraordinary corpus of ancient Ife art in terra-cotta, stone, and metal, dating from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. This title explores the purposes for which this art may have been made and its relationship to Yoruba ideas about leadership, divinity, gender, and aesthetics.
Year: 2009
Primary URL:
Catalog Type: Exhibition Catalog
Publisher: University of Washington Press