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

March 7 to May 10, 2015

Special Exhibitions Gallery and Judi and Milt Stewart Hexagon Gallery, first floor

IU Art Museum is one of four national venues to host this first major showing of traditional art from the West African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The exhibition brings together more than seventy objects from the collection of the late William Siegmann (1943–2011), former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum and an IU alumnus who lived and worked in Liberia between 1965 and 1987. Siegmann assembled a collection that not only presents typical masks, figures, and prestige arts from more than a dozen ethnic groups, but also explores nuances in forms and motifs of similar object types that serve as markers of local preferences as well as of individual artists’ choices.

Visions from the Forests was organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and its presentation in Bloomington is made possible by the Raymond and Laura Wielgus Endowed Curatorship for the Arts of Africa, the South Pacific, and the Americas; Rita Grunwald; and the IU Art Museum’s Arc Fund. The exhibition catalogue that accompanies Visions from the Forests is available for purchase in Angles Gift Shop.

Image: Southern Bullom (Sherbo) peoples, Sierra Leone. Sande Society Mask, late nineteenth century. Wood. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Blake Robinson, 1998.127.1