More Than an Object: Engaging the Broader Context of African Art

More than an Object exhibition open Jan 29-June 8, 2019

More Than An Object attempts to resituate objects from across the African continent within the original cultural framework in which they were once part. The pieces on display in this exhibition were not created to be presented in a Western sense of the word “art.” Rather, these objects were made to interact within a broader creative interface, whether for ceremonial purpose, market intent or everyday applications.

Such a focus will highlight the ways in which African cultures actually use, perform, and produce art within the changing landscapes in which they live. More Than An Object demonstrates how functionality gives rise to form without losing sight of the crucial place aesthetics and artistic expression occupy within traditional-based cultures. By shifting focus to the broader context of African art, this exhibition seeks to engage the ways in which art and life are intimately connected on the continent.

More Than An Object: Engaging the Broader Context of African Art is the culminating work of the Fall 2018 Art & Architecture History Senior Capstone seminar taught by Dr. Jordan Fenton.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Saturday Noon-5p.m.

Capstone Participants 2018-19
Caroline Bastian | Sarah Brown | Alexus Chavana | Shuting Chen | Mary Connor | Halsey Hill | Lauren Leibold | Amanda Messeri | Katie Moore | Margaux Newell

Related Programming

NOTE: Gallery hours are extended during any program held after 5 p.m.


Capstone Dialogues
WED, FEB 27 | 6 P.M.
In a manner more akin to the interactive nature of most traditional-based African arts, students will present their research findings on the objects they hand selected and rigorously researched for the exhibition. During the reception, students will be available in the gallery to field questions and discuss their research into the ways in which the object alone is just the tip of the “iceberg” when engaging the intellectual complexity of African creative expression.
Co-sponsored with the Art Museum Student Organization

Exhibition Talk
Artwork for Healing
Tue, Apr 16 | 7:30-9 p.m.
Jacqueline Chanda, Ph.D., Tucson, AZ
The notion of artworks for healing is not confined to just one culture. Using Ethiopian Healing Scrolls as examples, we will explore the how and the why of their creation. We will then look at the similarities and differences between Ethiopian healing art and that of other cultures. Co-sponsored with the Department of Comparative Religion and the Archeological Institute of America


All Programs are FREE & OPEN TO ALL and held at the Art Museum (unless noted otherwise).