Each day in February, I will tweet images and links to a range of less-seen African art works in the Brooklyn Museum collection, along with links to our online collection database. Look for tweets with #AfricanArtCanBe (or follow me, @BKLN_AfrPac).
The title for this project, “African Art Can Be,” is inspired by an exhibition conceived by Jerry Vogel, a senior African art specialist and dear friend and mentor, as well as an ongoing volunteer at the Brooklyn Museum (and leader of our trip to Côte d’Ivoire this past summer). One of his shows, Reflections: African Art Is… (2004, Museum for African Art) sought to explore the diversity of what is now collected, studied, and celebrated as African art. Jerry passed away suddenly this past fall. Inspired by his work, and by our afternoons together handling and examining objects in the Brooklyn Museum storerooms, #AfricanArtCanBe will explore a variety of ways of looking at Brooklyn’s African collection.
After all, our new, temporary installation of the #BKMAfricanArt collection, Double Take: African Innovations is all about looking at the breadth of African art in new, and sometimes surprising, ways, from its “storage annex,” to a rotating case that will be informed by audience participation. This campaign is another experiment in this direction—limited by Twitter’s incredibly short word count (which makes our gallery label lengths look like articles in comparison!), but hopefully informed by your engagement. Follow along, offer your thoughts, and join me in exploring our collection together.
Posted by Kevin D. Dumouchelle