Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone

Indiana University Art Museum
Special Exhibitions Gallery, first floor
March 8–May 10

Liberian mask

Image: Dan or Mano, Liberia. Mask with shoulder cloth, first half of 20th century. Wood, animal fur, feathers, cotton, beads. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, gift of William Siegman 2011.70.1

The Indiana University Art Museum is proud to present Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the nation's first exhibition dedicated to the cultural heritage of West African neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone. Featuring approximately 75 pieces drawn primarily from the collection of William Siegmann (1943–2011), IU Alumnus, and former curator of African Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Siegmann lived and worked in Liberia between 1965 and 1987 where he directed both the National Musuem of Liberia in Monrovia and the Africana Museum at Cuttington University College (now Cuttington University).

The exhibition surveys the region's traditional and diverse art forms including masks, wooden and stone statuary, metalwork, ritual objects used in men's and women's initiation rites, and woven and dyed textiles. Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Visions from the Forests has already visited its host institution and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. before coming to Bloomington. It will continue on to the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, after leaving the IU Art Museum.

Opening Program
Saturday, March 7, 5:306:30 p.m.
Hope School of Fine Arts Auditorium (room 015)

Join us for opening festivities for Visions from the Forests with a performance by the Kotchegna Dance Company. Based in New York, this exciting dance troupe consists of seven dancers and drummers who perform dances and songs from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) under the direction of master dancer and choreographer Vado Diomande. This performance is supported in part by the IU African Studies Program.

Opening Reception
Saturday, March 7, 6:308:00 p.m.
IU Art Museum, Thomas T. Solley Atrium, First Floor

Join us for your first chance to see Visions from the Forests. Food and drink will be provided.

"[This] exhibition of objects from regions typically associated with conflict and war refocuses attention on the peoples and cultures of the region, highlighting long histories of artwork in wood, ivory, stone, metal, and textiles"
—Washington Post

"A spectacular display of unusual African masks"
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The nation's first exhibition dedicated to the cultural heritage of West African neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone. The exhibition is not only groundbreaking as the first survey of art from this region, but for its focus on individual makers in Liberia and Sierra Leone"
—Art Daily