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    Looking up of a detail of a sculpture by Henry Moore outside the East Building

    Research Associates’ Reports

    Lauren Taylor
    Center 41

    Lauren Taylor

    The Humanisms of Dakar’s Musée Dynamique (1966)

    Tony Saulnier, untitled image, April 1966. Image courtesy of Paris Match, Lagardère Media News

    My work this year examines the first museum to be built in Senegal following its independence, the Musée Dynamique. Inaugurated in Dakar during the First World Festival of Negro Arts (1966), the museum was an architectural expression of the roles that Senegal, Negritude, and artistic exchange could play in healing a world torn by the violence of colonialism, the devastation of the world wars, and the tensions of the Cold War. Through an intertextual approach, my work situates the museum’s architecture within the philosophical writing of its planners to argue that the Musée Dynamique mediates the related but distinct humanistic philosophies espoused, on one hand, by Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor and, on the other, by Swiss ethnographer Jean Gabus. 

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