Celebration Will Feature Exhibition Opening and Talk, Discounts in Museum Store and Docent-Led Guided Tours
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art will join museums in North America in celebrating Art Museum Day Wednesday, May 18, held in conjunction with International Museum Day. The museum will participate with the same-day opening of its exhibition “Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa,” followed by a public gallery tour led by South African artist Sue Williamson at 3:30 p.m. and an artist talk. There will be docent-led guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and discounts in the museum store from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This is the seventh year that the Association of Art Museum Directors is uniting its membership to celebrate the event.
“We are delighted to celebrate Art Museum Day 2016,” said Johnnetta B. Cole, director of the museum. “I know how important art is in helping to spark conversation, stimulate interaction about the beauty and diversity of Africa and its diaspora. The museum is proud to offer a day for our visitors near and far to celebrate Art Museum Day.”
International Museum Day will be featured on Snapchat as one of its “Live Stories,” enabling users to share their experiences and to show how museum visitors around the world are celebrating Art Museum Day. Visitors to the National Museum of African Art will be invited to share their experience on Snapchat during each activity and throughout the day. Visitors are encouraged to use the hashtag #ArtMuseumDay on other social-media platforms.
Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa
The exhibition, open through Jan. 2, 2017, features six internationally recognized African artists and examines how time is experienced and produced by the body. Bodies climb, fall, dance and dissolve in seven works of video and film art. These time-based works by Sammy Baloji, Theo Eshetu, Moataz Nasr, Berni Searle, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Williamson repeat, resist and reverse the expectation that time must move relentlessly forward.
At 4 p.m., English-born South African artist Williamson and Karen Milbourne, the exhibition curator, will discuss the artist’s practice with two other creators featured in the exhibition, renowned artists Moataz Nasr and Berni Searle. They will be joined Washington, D.C., artist Renée Stout. Exploring time and place, Williamson’s video work in the exhibition, “There’s Something I Must Tell You” (2013) presents a moving portrait of struggle, hope, understanding and love. In the video, six women who fought against apartheid in South Africa—Brigalia Bam, Amina Cachalia, Ilse Fischer, Rebecca Kotane, Caroline Motsoaledi and Vesta Smith—discuss their past and their aspirations with their granddaughters, a new generation born in a free South Africa. The public gallery tour will take place at 3:30 p.m. before Williamson’s talk.
Exhibitions Currently On View at the National Museum of African Art
- Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, 1926–1989—through July 31
- Artists’ Books and Africa—through Sept. 12
- Emeka Ogboh’s Market Symphony—through March 23, 2017
- Walt Disney Tishman Collection—permanent
- African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection—ongoing
Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean—ongoing
About the National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is the nation’s premier museum dedicated exclusively to the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of Africa’s diverse arts. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. The museum is located at 950 Independence Ave. S.W., near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. For more information, call (202) 633-4600 or visit the National Museum of African Art’s website. For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000.
About the Association of Art Museum Directors
AAMD member museums—located across the United States, Canada and Mexico—include regional museums and large international institutions. International Museum Day is organized annually around the world by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). AAMD’s Art Museum Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the role of art museums in North America as part of ICOM’s global celebration of museums. A comprehensive list of participating AAMD member art museums will be available in the newsroom of AAMD’s website.
For more information, contact Eddie Burke, head of communications and public affairs at the National Museum of African Art, at (202) 633-4660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.