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African Art Through the Centuries

5-Session Daytime Course

Monday, July 13, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0523S
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Face mask by a Chokwe artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, early 20th century (African Art Museum)


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

From the vibrant paintings found in Stone Age caves to the abstract sculptures produced during the continent’s colonial period, the arts of Africa have been shaped by unique creative insight as well as by specific political, social, religious, and economic forces. Art historian Kevin Tervala explores these vibrant artistic expressions through an examination of the continent’s historical trajectory.

July 13  Ancient Africa (Prehistory to 1000)

From cave paintings to the pyramids: How artistic creativity evolved in cradle of humanity.

July 14 Medieval Africa (1000–1500)

An examination of the art produced during the continent’s Age of Empires and the role of Islam in shaping African creative thought.

July 15  Early Modern Africa (1500–1900)

How artists responded to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trade and how the increasing ties between Africa and Europe shaped artistic patronage.

July 16 Modern (1900­–1950)

How European colonialism, independence-era politics, and economic globalization transformed the content and form of African art.

July 17  Contemporary Africa (1960­–Present)

A look at how artists responded to the African independence and politics of the post-colonial moment. 

5 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course:  Earn 1 credit*

Patron Information

  • Once registered, patrons will receive two emails: one is an automatic email confirmation and the second will include a link to the recurring Zoom webinar as a follow-up (usually given within 24 hours of registration).
  • NOTE: If you do not receive your follow-up email from Zoom, please email Customer Service for assistance.


*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.