Writer: Bradley Paul
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Sculpture from Mali will be at UI Museum of Art Dec. 21 through May 11
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "Humans and Animals in Malian Art," an exhibition
of sculpture drawn primarily from the permanent collection of the University
of Iowa Museum of Art, will be on display from Dec. 21 through May 11 in the
Stanley Galleries at the museum.
The exhibition will also feature several objects on loan from the Field Museum
of Natural History in Chicago and from private collections.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Patrick McNaughton, professor of art history
at Indiana University, will present a lecture as part of the weekly Perspectives
series at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in the museum.
The exhibition features work by the Bamana and the Dogon, Mali's two best
known art-producing ethnic groups, as well as work by the Bobo and the Bozo,
Malian groups less frequently represented in museum collections.
The exhibition also features terra-cotta sculpture from the Djenne region
in northern Mali. Produced between the eighth and 17th centuries, these pieces
offer the opportunity to see Malian art in significant historical depth.
All of the sculptures portray human or animal figures. The pieces range from
the very naturalistic to the very abstract, reflecting an extraordinary variety
of techniques even within the same ethnic group.
The sculptures, which are made from various materials including wood, iron,
bronze and terra-cotta, are invested with mythological and allegorical meaning
and reflect the social and spiritual values of their respective cultures.
They therefore play instrumental roles in Malian religious and political traditions
and are frequently used as teaching tools. They are also used for decoration
The collection features masks, figurative sculpture and functional objects
that portray horses, dogs, snakes, birds, hyenas, and donkeys, as well as
male and female human figures.
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission
to the museum is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots
across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center,
which is just north of the museum.