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Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue Opens November 9, 2014

Kepi in Bree Street

Nontsikelelo “Lolo” Veleko
born 1977, South Africa
Kepi in Bree Street
2006
From the Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder series
Digital print with pigment dyes on cotton paper
42 x 29 cm (16 9/16 x 11 7/16 in.)
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, purchased with funds provided by the Annie Laurie Aitken Endowment, 2011-7-1.4
Photograph by Franko Khoury

One of the world’s preeminent private collections of African American art will have its first public viewing later this year at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue” brings together artworks from two world-class collections: the National Museum of African Art and the William H. and Camille O. Cosby Collection. The exhibition, which opens at the museum Nov. 9 and remains on view through early 2016, is a major part of the museum’s 50th anniversary, celebrating its unique history and contributions toward furthering meaningful dialogue between Africa and the African diaspora.

Conversations” presents selected pieces from the Cosby collection, including works by Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Beauford Delaney, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Keith Morrison, Faith Ringgold, Augusta Savage, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Alma Thomas. With the exception of one work of art, the Cosby collection has never been loaned or seen publicly and only rarely and selectively published. These and other works of African American art are placed in thematic dialogue with African traditional works of art, including a Kongo female figure with child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a lidded bowl from Nigeria by the Yoruba master artist Olowe of Ise and a Nuna butterfly mask from Burkina Faso, and with modern and contemporary works of art by artists, including Fodé Camara from Senegal, Godfried Donkor from Ghana and William Kentridge from South Africa. The exhibition and its accompanying publication are organized to explore intersecting ideas about history, creativity, power, identity and artistry in ways that resonate with people the world over.

50th Anniversary Gala

gala banner

National Museum of African Art
November 7, 2014

Our signature event celebrates not only the museum’s 50th anniversary, but the opening of a very special exhibition, Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue, featuring works from the collections of the National Museum of African Art and Drs. Camille and Bill Cosby.

Guests to the gala will have the unprecedented opportunity to view Conversations and artworks from the never-before-exhibited Cosby Collection prior to its official opening.

Guests attending the 50th Anniversary Gala will include international business leaders, foreign ministers, ambassadors, thought leaders, lobbyists, philanthropists, and leaders of U.S. government agencies. Through your sponsorship of the National Museum of African Art and its 50th Anniversary Gala, these key decision makers will see your commitment to Africa.

For more information.