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African Sculpture

January 29 – March 1, 1970
Ground Floor, Central Gallery, Galleries G-7, G-8, G-9, Space 11

Installation view of African Sculpture, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 193 historical pieces, ritual figures, and masks in wood, stone, metal, and ivory came from public and private collections in Europe, Africa, and North America. This exhibition of sculpture from tribes of Africa was assembled by William Fagg, keeper of ethnology at the British Museum, for the International Exhibitions Foundation. It was sponsored by the chiefs of the diplomatic missions from 34 African nations.

Organization: The installation was designed by Kathleen Haven and Tom Flink with the advice of Douglas Newton, curator of the Museum of Primitive Art in New York. For the first time the entire exhibition space was completely transformed with false walls and special lighting. The walls and ceiling of the Central Gallery were painted out and spotlights hung on specially installed bars. The entrance area was converted into an orientation display with full-scale color transparencies illustrating the use of the objects in their native settings. Coordinator for the Gallery was Douglas Lewis.

Attendance: 118,801

Catalog: African Sculpture, by William Fagg. Washington, DC: International Exhibitions Foundation, 1970.

Other Venues: William Rockhill Nelson Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, March 21–April 26, 1970
Brooklyn Museum, May 26–June 21, 1970