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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program has been canceled. Ticket holders will be notified about credit and/or refund options.

African Art Through the Centuries

2-Session Course

Friday, June 26, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Code: 1H0523
$120 - Member
$170 - Non-Member

Face mask by a Chokwe artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, early 20th century (African Art Museum)

From the vibrant paintings found in Stone Age caves to the abstract sculptures produced during the continent’s colonial period to contemporary creators, 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.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26 (6–8 p.m.)

Ancient Africa (Prehistory to 1000)

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


10–11:15 a.m.  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.

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.  Early Modern Africa (1500–1900)

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

12:30–1:30 p.m.  Lunch (themed box lunch provided)

1:30–2:30 p.m.  Modern Africa (1900­–1960)

How did European colonialism transform the content and form of African art?

2:45–3:45 p.m.  Contemporary Africa (1960­–Present)

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

Tervala is associate curator of African Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

2 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course:  Earn 1 credit*

*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.