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Treasures 2008 showcases 74 sculptures made of ivory—a material highly valued universally. These artworks, dating from between the 15th and 20th centuries, range from small personal objects to large public objects.

The exhibition highlights the extraordinary creativity of African artists and what the original owners or caretakers in Africa deemed worthwhile. Treasures 2008 also reveals the "tastes" of the museum's staff and the 13 private collectors from the United States represented in the show.

The exhibition-related website will unfold in stages. The first group of objects is from the museum's collection. They are, in a sense, "hidden treasures"—either recent acquisitions or collection objects that had not been displayed pending conservation treatment.

We want you to venture on a personal journey of aesthetic discovery, to see uniqueness and the visually superlative. Our hope is that your desire to understand Africa is stimulated-that you arrive at an appreciation of African art that enables you to see the relevance of art in their lives and, by extension, our lives.

The exhibition was organized by Director Sharon F. Patton and Curator Bryna M. Freyer.

Enter the Treasures 2008 web site

Back to: NMAfA past exhibits