Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa 

May 12 - September 9, 2018

Historical collecting practices have had a lasting impact on representations of Africa, its history, culture, and life today. Labeled as ‘unknown’ or ‘anonymous,’ African artists became associated with broad cultural styles and collective identities rather than personal creativity and individual agency. The exhibition Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa includes artworks from both named and unrecorded, contemporary and historic artists to tell an alternative story. It explores how the changing attributes of an ‘African’ artist’s identity, and constructions of African identity more broadly, have shaped perceptions of Africa outside of the continent.

Lead support for Unrecorded is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the African Studies Center. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and Susan Ullrich.

Images

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Untitled (Dollhouse), 2002, wood, fabric, paper, plastic, metal, resin, offset lithograph. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of Peter Norton Family Foundation, 2002/1.236 © Yinka Shonibare MBE. All Rights Reserved, DACS/ ARS, NY 2017. Photography: Charlie Edwards

Workshop of the Adugbologe family, Yoruba peoples, Nigeria, Headdress (Ere egúngún, erin type), ca. 1950, wood, mirrors, pigment, gourd, beads, metal. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of the Edward H. Eliscu Family, 1985/1.183. Photography: Charlie Edwards

Osei Bonsu, Parlor piece, ca. 1950, wood. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of Margaret H. and Albert J. Coudron, 2001/2.33. Photography: Charlie Edwards

Artist unrecorded, collected in Morocco, Pen box, ca. 19th century, metal and glass. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of the Estate of Anne L. McGrew, 2012/1.281. Photography: Charlie Edwards

Timeline

Exhibition Timeline

SatMay 12
Exhibition Opens
SunSep 9
Exhibition Closes