Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone is the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art’s gift to the public in celebrating its 50th year anniversary. Perhaps no art form brings together the creative efforts of so many diverse skills as the traditional African mask. Sculptors, performers, musicians, participants, and attendants are all involved in their ceremonial use. This dazzling collection of William Siegman is rich in masks associated with initiation rites as well as jewelry, dyed textiles, small stone figures, and prestige objects of cast, brass, and horn – some dating from the 15th century. The exhibit will run through August 17 and is free to attend. The museum, which was founded in 1964, occupied a townhouse once owned by Fredrick Douglas. It later became part of the Smithsonian Institution, and was re-located to 950 Independence Avenue SW. For more information check out http://africa.si.edu/ or call (202) 633-4600.
By: Sheila Wickouski